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Can Your Spouse Access Your Bank Account

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What Is A Joint Bank Account

How a joint bank account with your spouse can help you in adverse times like Covid?

A joint bank account is an account that you share with another person for things like paying the bills, depositing paychecks or saving for a vacation or down payment for a car.

Most often, joint accounts are held by one individual and a significant other, family member or business partner. However, any two people can open a joint bank account together if they choose.

What Happens If My Criminal Case Goes To Court

All criminal cases that are to be dealt with by the court system begin in the magistrates court. Where a person is charged with a criminal offence, they will need to attend court so that the case can be dealt with. The person that attends court charged with the criminal offence is known as a defendant. When a person is charged with a crime, they can either be released on bail with certain conditions or held in custody for the next available court hearing.

Bank Account Beneficiary Rules

Unlike with other accounts, banks dont require you to name a beneficiary when you open a checking or savings account. Generally speaking, its up to you to ask about naming a beneficiary. Otherwise, you may not even be presented with the option. And, not all banks allow this option.

To name a beneficiary, youll likely be asked to fill out a form. Some bank beneficiary account rules let you do the process online. In either event, its generally not complicated or difficult and doesnt require you to find a notary.

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Bank Accounts Held In Trust

If you’ve set up a living trust to avoid probate proceedings after your death, you can hold a bank account in the name of the trust. After your death, when the person you chose to be your successor trustee takes over, the funds will be transferred to the beneficiary you named in your trust document. No probate will be necessary.

To transfer the account to your trust, tell the bank what you want to do. It may have some forms for you to fill out. Then the bank should adjust its records, and your account statements will show that the account is held in trust. For example, instead of getting statements addressed to Luanne O’Hara, you’ll see statements to “Luanne O’Hara, trustee of the Luanne O’Hara Revocable Living Trust dated November 12, 2009.”

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    I Have Received A Petition From My Spouse But Do Not Agree To Its Contents Can I Defend The Allegations

    What Happens If Your Spouse Depletes Your Joint Account ...

    Whilst it can be extremely upsetting to receive a divorce petition with whose contents you emphatically do not agree, it is always worth bearing in mind the following two things: i) with no fault divorce yet to come into force, there still exists a tendency for petitioners to overstate their account of a spouses unreasonable behaviour, and ii) it is very rare that there would be a detriment made to your financial entitlement or child arrangements by a petition that depicts you unfavourably.

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    The Benefits Of Joint Bank Accounts

    Joint accounts are a great way to give you and your partner a transparent view of how your money is being spent. By both having access to your accounts, you can save toward shared goals , as well as keep track of household expenses like utilities or groceries. With account activity visible to both of you, theres less temptation to splurge because you are both on the same page.

    A joint account can also help you qualify more quickly for your banks rewards programs. For example, growing your qualifying savings and investments in a Bank of America account can qualify you for discounted home and auto loans, $0 Merrill Edge stock and ETF trades, and credit card rewards bonuses.

    When You Can’t Access Your Spouse’s Bank Account

    How can you access the bank account of an incapacitated person?Tinesh Bhasin lets us know.Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

    Recently, the Bombay high court allowed a woman to operate the bank account of her husband who was in a coma.

    As there is no legal provision in banking to deal with such a situation, the wife had no option but to approach the judiciary to be appointed her husband’s guardian.

    Anyone can face a similar situation where the breadwinner is comatose, incapacitated, bedridden or is critical after an accident.

    “By following one simple step, an individual can give access to all financial accounts to his or her partner. An individual can opt for ‘either or survivor’ option,” says Malhar Majumder, a Kolkata-based financial planner.

    In this case, the breadwinner is the first account holder and the partner is the second. Both can operate the account.

    The signature of any one of the two is valid for transactions. Majumder says this works for all financial accounts, except for an insurance policy.

    An individual can opt for this option in banking, mutual funds, share trading account and so on.

    There is also an option called ‘former or survivor’, wherein only the main account holder can operate the account.

    Only on her/his death, the second account holder can independently operate the account after submitting the required papers with the bank.

    One of the two witnesses needs to be a bank official.

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    Offshore Accounts And Divorce

    The words offshore accounts may conjure images from action movies of people carrying suitcases full of cash around the world with fake passports. In reality, however, investing in offshore accounts is not always this glamorous. Believe it or not, your very regular spouse could be investing funds in offshore accounts. Why? Because its easy to do and can be a way to hide assets from you.

    Are You Entitled To Take Out Loans On Joint Accounts Without Permission During Divorce Proceedings

    VOXPOP: Can you have a joint bank account with your spouse?

    For most people, debt is something that they will incur to enable them to buy larger purchases such as cars and homes, as well as sometimes for everyday spending. In the same way that assets need to be assessed and divided when a couple divorce, any debt will need to be examined to determine who is responsible for its repayment.

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    One Of My Parents Transferred Assets To Me

    Under section 37 of the Matrimonial Causes Act, a transfer of property can be set aside if the court is satisfied that it was done to frustrate a matrimonial claim. If you have received property from a parent, it is possible that, on divorce, the other parent or step-parent might try to set it aside.

    The Financial Ombudsman Service

    If you’ve gone through your bank or building society’s complaints procedure and they haven’t been able to help you, you can make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

    You must give your bank or building society at least eight weeks to sort the problem out, unless they send you a letter of deadlock before the eight weeks is up. This is a letter telling you there is nothing more they can do to help you.

    You must complain to the Ombudsman within six months of getting the letter of deadlock, or from the end of the eight week period if you don’t get a letter of deadlock. Make sure you keep a record of the date when you first made your complaint to the bank.

    Financial Ombudsman ServiceLondonE14 9SRConsumer helpline: 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123

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    Do Banks Freeze Your Accounts On Death

    There are many horror stories told by individuals who have been unable to access money in the account of a deceased, even in order to pay bills which were clearly those of the deceased.

    The fact is that banks will in fact freeze accounts of an account-holder upon learning of the account-holders death. This can create significant problems where there are pre-authorized payments set up to pay all of the deceaseds bills, and other bills needing payment begin to accumulate. A bank will usually allow for payment of direct funeral expenses, and, in some cases, ongoing utilities, taxes, and condominium fees related to a property owned by the deceased. A bank may also allow for the payment of probate fees from the account. However, for all other needs the account will be frozen until the executor named in the deceaseds will has been officially appointed by the court , which can and does take months.

    However, it is extremely important that it be clear to everyone that the surviving account-holder is holding the account in trust, to be used for the deceaseds estate. If not, there can be an assumption by the surviving holder of the account that the account, or perhaps what is left after payment of the immediate bills, is his/hers alone, not to be shared with the others and war can break out as a result.

    This blog post was written by Ted Mann, a Partner in the Wills and Estates, Real Estate, Business and Bankruptcy teams. He can be reached at 613-369-0368 or at .

    If My Spouse Dies Can I Access His Bank Accounts If I Am Not On The Accounts

    How To Enroll Your Bank Account In SSS Online
    • Posted on Jul 26, 2012

    Generally speaking, if you are not joint on the accounts or listed as a person with a right to access, then you will be unable to access the accounts even after your spouse’s death. If he has a will, then it may appoint an executor. His assets will pass through probate and the executor or an appointed administrator will become the personal representative of the estate. That person will have access to the accounts and will distribute the funds according to the will, if there is one, and also pay creditors of the estate as necessary. There are a number of options open to you as a surviving spouse, and you should consult with an attorney when the need arises. Best of luck!

    I am not your lawyer unless you hire me, sign an agreement, and pay my fee, and this answer does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship. This answer is also not legal advice–it is just an attempt to point you towards resources you might take advantage of , and should be considered a general response to a hypothetical scenario.

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    Changing Your Bank Or Building Society

    If you decide to change your bank or building society account, you should think about:

    • what charges will be involved, for example, for closing your account or cancelling standing orders
    • whether the services and facilities provided by the new bank or building society are better than those you currently get
    • the fact that there may be delays in making payments by standing order or direct debit. You should take this into account when you decide the date for closing your account
    • how long you will have to wait before you can use all the new bank or building society’s services

    You should open a new account before closing your old one and make sure you cancel any current standing orders or direct debits, or move these to your new account. Be sure to return any unused cheques or plastic cards to your old bank or building society.

    If you are transferring a balance to your new account, make sure you have left enough money in the old account to cover any uncleared cheques.

    If you owe the existing bank or building society any money and you wish to close the account, you may still be sued for the money you owe if you don’t pay it when you close the account.

    Both your old and new bank or building society have responsibilities towards you.

    The level of service you should expect from your old bank or building society will depend on whether there is an arrangement in place between your old bank and the new one.

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    Naming Kids On A Joint Bank Account

    Always read any updates that your bank sends you to keep you informed of changes.

    If you are one of the thousands of Canadians who owns an account jointly with your parent or your child, be aware that there is no longer an automatic right of survivorship on these accounts.

    Though you may have been told by the bank when it was set up that there was a right of survivorship, the law has changed right across Canada.

    An inter-generational joint account where the parent put in the money and later added a child as a joint owner is considered to be held in trust for the parents estate. That account will be frozen. Estate Law Canada Blog Spot

    What Happens With A Frozen Bank Account

    Do You Have A Joint Account With Your Spouse???

    There is a pretty simple answer, pretend your money is rock solid in an ice pit, and you cant reach it without calling in the big guys to help chisel it out.

    Its like dangling a steak in front of a dog because you can see the numbers in the bank account, but you cant touch them.

    It sounds a bit daft, but going through the process of a frozen bank account can be a time-consuming process for anyone.

    You typically dont need a letter to unfreeze a bank account after the death of your spouse. You need to go through a process that might see you with financial hardship.

    If a bank account is joint at the time of death, there will be a right of survivorship where the bank account wont be frozen.

    For this to happen, both of your names are on the bank account, and the surviving spouse continues to use the bank account.

    You still need to declare the death of your spouse with the bank through the estates department.

    However, if there is a bank account without one, it will be frozen.

    The WILL executor must get probate first before the account funds are released.

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    Exceptions To The Usual Rules

    An exception sometimes exists if a deceased spouse was collecting Social Security benefits. Most funeral homes notify the Social Security Administration of a death when it occurs, and Social Security will cease payments. If a check has already gone out in the mail, however, the surviving spouse or the executor of the estate must return it to the SSA when it’s received. If the payment is directly deposited into the decedent’s account, the bank might hold or freeze this portion of the balance because the bank is responsible for returning it. It legally belongs to the government after the recipient has died.

    In no event should you withdraw this money even if the bank doesn’t freeze it and even though you still have full access to the account it’s not yours.

    Accounts With A Payable

    Probably the simplest way to leave a bank account to someone is to name that person as the “payable-on-death” or POD beneficiary. You can do it by filling out and submitting a form that the bank supplies. The money is not part of your probate estate , so it can be quickly and easily transferred to POD beneficiary.

    After your death , the beneficiary can claim the money by going to the bank with a death certificate and identification. Your beneficiary designation form will be on file at the bank, so the bank will know that it has legal authority to hand over the funds.

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    The I Am Able To Deal With My Spouses Financial Affairs For Them Should They Be Unable To Do So Myth

    In the latest edition of her series of myth busting articles, Sarah Nash, Solicitor and Head of Astle Patersons Wills and Probate Department, discusses the common myth that married couples are automatically authorised to manage each others financial affairs should the other become unable to do so.

    Sarah said, Many people believe that, in the event of their husband or wife becoming unable to manage their financial affairs, they will be able to take over the management of them as of right.

    This is not correct.

    Whilst one spouse may be able to deal with, say, a bank account held in the joint names of the married couple, assets held in a spouses sole name can only be dealt with by the other with the specific authorisation of a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney document.

    This can cause difficulties when either a husband or wife becomes incapacitated, either mentally or physically temporarily or permanently and there is no-one who has been given authority to manage solely owned assets, which could include bank accounts. For example, it could prevent a spouse from accessing funds to provide for their familys needs and to manage the day-to-day payment of normal bills and outgoings.

    Should you like to meet with one of our specialist Wills and Probate Lawyers, please telephone the Departments direct telephone line on 01283 743969.

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