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Anonymous asked in Business & FinancePersonal Finance · 1 month ago

Should I add my name to my elderly parent's checking account?

Should I add my name to my elderly (80s) parent's checking account (at their suggestion)?  Is there some option that gives me quicker access/visibility to their account if they die?  Can this negatively impact my credit score or are there other risks involved?  Is there some option that gives my visibility/access to their account if they are incapacitated that does not make me a full co-owner of the account?

Thanks. 

12 Answers

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  • Steve
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    It may require their signature at the bank to do so. I think its a great idea to have some steps taken before ones finances and business dealings need to be handed over to a son or daughter.

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  • Eva
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Power of attorney would give you access and does not make you an owner of the account, but your access is cut off when they die. If you are a joint account holder, it does not affect your credit score and you still have access to the account when they die.

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  • Who
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    1)  you cant - only they can

    2) There is no option that will allow you "access" to their account after death unless YOU put a sizeable chunk of money into it BEFORE death (and I mean say 25% of the money in it can be shown to come from you)

     you will be able to get visibility (statements) - but not access

     (Unless you put that money in, it will be regarded as 100% theirs for tax purposes-   and will have to be presented as part of the application for probate - Only AFTER probate will anybody get access (is there is a will and you aint in it only thing you would get is your money back from the account)

    3) the only option would be for THEM to give you POA before death (YOU cannot claim it THEY have to apply for it)

        BUT having POA does not give you full ownership, only the authority to spend on things in THEIR interest

      the other thing is - THEY MUST have the mental capacity to appoint you POA

    (i,e they must be examined mentally to show they have that capacity)

     

      (POA can require a lot of work -YOU have to keep records of any money you spend from that account (including travel, hotel expenses)- what it was for and why it was required- cos the court can demand a copy of YOUR records along with statements from the account at ANY time

      the only thing you can claim from it are the costs of administrating it but YOU cant claim for the work YOU put in - you can only claim for bills submitted to you from say lawyers or accountants (which should be entered in your records) and you must keep receipts for ALL you spend

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    • SCATTY c
      Lv 5
      1 month agoReport

      If you have a joint account with someone - you do NOT need to put money into the account.  All the funds in the accounts are assumed to be shared equally between all account holders.

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  • 1 month ago

    They can make you an 'authorized user' without naming you as a co-owner.

    Another option would be giving you Power of Attorney. That can be structured to allow you to view the account now, but only actually access the account if the become incapacitated.

    Note: A POA dies with them. Being named in a 'payable on death' clause would be the fastest why to have access if they die.

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  • Judy
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You can't, they have to do it.

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  • 1 month ago

    No affect on your credit, a checking account is not credit.

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  • 1 month ago

    Yeah, just adding your name is a good idea. Very little chance of this coming back to hurt you, assuming they don't overdraw the account by some large amount.  

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Your parents should have a financial power of attorney and also a health care power of attorney.   This would allow you to make medical and financial decisions on their behalf while they are still alive if they are unable to do so for themselves.    This does not require you to be a co-owner of any of their assets such as their checking account and it does not affect your credit score at all.

    Your parents should also have an estate plan as to what happens when the first one of them dies and also what happens when the second one of them dies. 

    Being co-owner on assets with your parents may create undesirable tax consequences. 

    If your parents have any substantial assets, it's time to visit an estate attorney. 

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    If the account ended up overdrawn and the negative balance never paid, it could prevent you from opening another bank or credit union account for 7 years. As it shows on Chexsystems but not your credit report.

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  • 1 month ago

    if you're worried just share the passwords and do money transfers. really, everyone should have a digital will that lists all known passwords and who they should be distributed to (if only so you can close "dead" accounts or set up email to auto-reply that the person is dead now).

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