Living happily ever after with your joint bank account

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Joint bank accounts are a great convenience for people that share expenses. You could open a joint account with anyone really, your spouse, parents, children, even business associates and roommates. With more hands in the cookie jar, you’ll want to make sure you know the rules, and establish some guidelines of how you will each handle the account. Here are three things you should know about how joint bank accounts work at Webster.

1. What’s mine is yours

Joint accounts are deposit accounts that are owned by two or more individuals with ‘Rights of Survivorship’. To open a joint account at a Webster banking center, both parties need to be present. We will set up one person as the primary account holder, and the other person as secondary, which gives you both equal rights and access to the account. You can also open an account  over the phone. Once your joint account is set up, you both will have the ability to deposit and withdraw funds from the account on your own.

2. Junior’s college cash – special rules for minors

A minor, age 16-17, can be a joint owner on a checking account only with an adult age 21+. The minor will have the same rights as the adult and is able to transact on the account without limitations. Minors can have an ATM or check card in their own name ONLY on joint accounts with an adult.

Related Article: Money management for teens

3. Til’ death do us part

If one of you happens to pass away, the other signor has the right to survivorship. What that means is that upon the death of one of the owners the funds belong to the surviving owner(s).  A certified copy of the Death Certificate, with seal, must be submitted to the bank to remove the deceased owner from the account. It also means you can continue to claim the funds on the account without going through the hassle of probate.

Communication is key – staying on top of your joint account

Not communicating about your purchases can cause you to over draft your account by accident. Hey – it happens, which is why we have a few different overdraft options to fit your needs. You can also sign up for free balance alerts, or use online and mobile banking to stay connected on the go.

Those are some of the basics of joint accounts. For more information, check out these resources:

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General Disclosures

The opinions and views in this blog post are those of the authors, and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Please consult professional advisors with regard to your individual situation.