A common question I receive from clients is whether a parent should make a child a joint owner of a bank account. Generally, the question comes from an elderly single or widowed client who either already needs the assistance of a child to ensure that bills are paid or is concerned that should she experience a debilitating health event, her child has the ability to pay bills.
Generally, I advise against this arrangement. There are two primary reasons for my position.
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- Making a child the joint owner of an account means that the child now has as much ownership of the account as you do. If the child is sued
You’ve done the right thing. You’ve gone to an estate planning or elder law lawyer and had your basic estate planning documents prepared, ie. your Last Will and Testament, Financial Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, etc. Now what do you do with these important documents?
Last Will and Testament
In Ohio, original Wills are very important. That is because if an original Will is lost, the law presumes that it was lost or destroyed on purpose. To admit a lost Will, the burden is on the individual seeking to admit the lost Will that it was executed in accordance with the law, what the contents… Read the rest