I’ll just put my son or daughter on my checking account so they can pay your bills if you can’t. Or, your spouse develops dementia, and a bank officer suggests putting your son or daughter’s name on your bank account. It seems like such a good idea…right?
Why is this a bad idea?
If you have more than one child, and you only put one child on the account. Upon your passing the money only goes to the child on the account and the other child/children get nothing. Will the child on the account share with their siblings? Maybe…maybe not. Perhaps the child on the account has done the lion’s share of helping the parent and feel they are “entitled” to payment. Believe it or not, this happens ALL the time.
The money in the account belongs to both you and your child and would be used to pay for any of your child’s debts. I’m not talking about just credit card debt, but what if your child had a car accident and one or more people were seriously injured or killed. Or what if your child was seriously in a car accident or develops a catastrophic illness and runs up high medical bills. If your child gets divorced, their spouse is going to end up with sum of your assets.
You can’t claim that the money is yours alone, because it’s not. By adding your child’s name to your account, you made that money freely available to your child. And, if it’s available to your child, it’s also available to your child’s creditors and divorcing spouse.
Here’s a better idea
A good and powerful Durable Power of Attorney accomplishes your goals without putting your money at risk. Don’t put your money at risk. Call us today at 636-394-0009 to make sure your existing Durable Power of Attorney is as powerful and flexible as it needs to be or to get one prepared if you don’t have one. Then you can go to the bank and take your child off your account!