A joint bank account is one that is shared by two or more individuals--who each have access to its funds and can deposit and withdraw cash as stipulated in the joint account agreement. Joint accounts are typically opened by close relatives, or business partners, to manage a single pool of finances. Joint bank accounts are either joint savings or joint checking accounts.
Joint Tenants in Common (JTIC)
Joint tenants in common (JTIC) is a type of joint bank account in which each partner owns a percentage share of account finances and/or assets. Each individual owner has a specific percentage of ownership assigned to him or her. In the event of death of an owner, his or her account ownership share is transferred to the owner’s estate, and not to the surviving partner. Different states stipulate different laws regarding the opening of joint tenants in common accounts. JTIC accounts are typically set up between individuals who are unrelated.
Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship (JTWROS)
Joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS) is similar to joint tenants in common (JTIC). Each account owner owns a percentage share of the account assets. Upon death of any owner, the ownership passes on to the other owner and not to the next of kin of the deceased. This type of joint bank account is commonly held by long-term partners or married couples who want to ensure that their property or finances are transferred immediately to their mate/spouse upon their death without having to go through probate.
A revocable account is a type of joint bank account in which each member can withdraw the full amount of funds deposited without consulting the other.
A convenience account is a type of joint bank account in which one member deposits the entire funds and has exclusive rights to them while both are alive. The other member cannot deposit or withdraw funds on his or her own account but can act as an “agent” on behalf of the owning member. Convenience accounts add a second party to facilitate bill paying for the convenience of the depositor. They provide liquidity to the surviving member upon the death of the owning member. Most banks provide additional services with convenience accounts, including Internet banking, telebanking and ATM facilities.
- “Your Living Trust and Estate Plan: How to Maximize Your Family's Assets”; Harvey J. Platt; 2002
- IRS: Joint Accounts
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