What is a joint account?
A joint account is an account in a bank or building society which names two or more persons as owners. This could be a deposit or savings account. Usually, each owner has full control of the account. This means that either owner can withdraw money from the account at any time. It does not matter whose money was deposited in the account or whether the other owner has deceased, has decision-making capacity or not, or even if he/she agrees with the purpose of a withdrawal. Many people do not realise that joint accounts may sometimes lead to misunderstandings and even disputes that could be avoided by use of other types of account arrangements. A joint account arrangement should never be used as a means of allowing somebody to control and manage your finances, even if that person is a trusted relative or friend. If you feel that you are no longer able to manage your financial affairs and require assistance from a trusted family member or friend, other arrangements may be more appropriate, such as, enduring power of attorney or the decision-making support options described by the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013.