Perils and pitfalls of joint accounts - MoneySense

Perils and pitfalls of joint accounts

Canadian senior citizens are being swindled by their own children through joint checking accounts.


Pensioners safeguarding their finances have more to look out for than emails from purported Nigerian princes these days. A disturbing number of seniors are being fleeced by their adult children through joint bank accounts.

Analysts agree that aging parents are seldom versed on the full consequence of adding an adult child to their account. They warn pensioners considering this option to consult a lawyer, document their intentions and provide copies of this documentation to multiple trusted individuals.

Two key things to note if a joint account is unavoidable: prevent the joint account holder from setting up a line of credit, and make sure there are no overdrafts on the account.

Seniors should be aware that adding adult children to their bank accounts simply to assist with frequent banking operations such as bill payments and account management means both party’s lives are now legally entangled.

Adding another person to their account could result in seniors legally signing away their savings.