Andrew is often asked if someone should add their child to their bank accounts. There are different levels of adding someone to a bank account. Are you adding them before death or post death? Pre and Post death decisions can be made to protect your current assets while protecting your children.

How did you add your child to your bank account? Are they an owner? Check signing authority? Pay on death beneficiary? Or A trustee of the bank account? Why would you want to make them an owner before? Let’s use the document we have to give children permission to do the things they need to do.

Andrew answers the question with a helpful diagram. This is not legal advice but provide general information. Andrew Pfieffer specializes in estate planning, trust and estate administration, corporate or business law, and real estate law. His office is located in Akron, Ohio and proudly services Northeast Ohio.

It is generally not wise to add people to owner to our bank accounts without giving thought to it. We can have outcomes later that we did not intend. Prior to death if your child needs to manage your financial or health, we can utilize a power of attorney. This will give them the ability to do what they need to on your behalf.

After your death, we can use a beneficiary designation or a pay on death designation. These are powerful estate planning documents that can save your family time and money, as well as provide asset protection.

You should consult with an estate planning attorney to discuss your options and what would work best for you and your family. Estate planning isn’t just for the ultra-wealthy. Everyone can benefit from having an estate plan in place. If you die without a plan, your assets will be distributed according to state law.

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