Joint bank accounts are often utilised for convenience purposes by married or cohabitating individuals, but they are also used for older generations who receive assistance with household issues from adult children or grandchildren. Some parents also create a joint account to help adolescent or young adult children establish a credit and banking profile. Owners of a joint bank account are seen as joint owners of all funds entrusted into the account, and some banks have special regulations for joint accounts.
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Deposits and Withdrawals
Unless otherwise stipulated, any named account holder on a joint account has the authority to make deposits and withdrawals to and from the account. One account holder cannot hold the bank responsible if another named person on the account makes a deposit or withdrawal of the account funds. If you plan to open a joint account but you want to limit who has permission to make deposits or withdrawals, you must make a provision for that when you establish the account or when you add a joint account holder to the account. You may request a stipulation that two or more signatures be required at all times by both or all account holders in order to access the account funds.
All joint owners of a current account are considered by the bank to be responsible for any required maintenance of the account. In the case of an overdrawn account, all owners of a joint account are equally responsible for overdraft liability and any associated overdraft fees. This policy remains in force regardless of who may have been responsible for making the associated charge to the account which resulted in an overdraft or who may have been responsible for depositing money to cover expenses. All owners of a joint account are also equally responsible for any monthly or yearly fees charged by the bank in addition to upholding all account holder policies and agreements.
A joint account which is shared by two individuals is most often considered to be a joint account with rights of survivorship unless an alternative account arrangement is otherwise constructed between the bank officials and account owners. When one account holder of a joint account dies, the funds in the account automatically become the sole legal property of the surviving account holder. The surviving account holder may choose to withdraw all funds or close the account at his discretion, and no claim can be made by the deceased's heirs or estate in order to recover the funds belonging to the survivor.
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