By Carolyn E. Hartle, Esquire, Dec 7 2017 08:40PM
QUESTION: SHOULD YOUR CHILD’S NAME BE ON YOUR BANK ACCOUNT AS AN OWNER?
ANSWER: There are advantages to having a child’s name on your bank account; however, I believe there are many more disadvantages. While having a child’s name on your bank account enables him/her to pay your bills if you become ill, so does a Power of Attorney. I believe the best approach is to leave the bank account in your name alone but have a Power of Attorney, which will authorize the Agent named in your Power of Attorney to pay your bills in the event you are unable to do so. Further, an Agent acting under a Power of Attorney has duties to abide by, such as using your money for your care--not his/her own personal use.
Then, upon your death, the Executor/Executrix named in your Last Will and Testament will have access to your bank account once he/she is sworn in by the Court. Or, in the alternative, you could name your child as the Beneficiary of your bank account, which is known as an “in trust for” account, thereby enabling your child to access the funds in the bank account without going through probate.