Law Office of Richard M. Russell
197 Palmer Avenue
Falmouth, Massachusetts 02540

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Adding Children to Your Bank Account

Many people consider adding a child to a bank account to allow the child access to the account funds on the owner’s passing, thus permitting prompt access to the funds after death. 

This strategy is not without risk. Naming another means that the other can access the funds without limitation. The funds are also available to the creditors of the other. This latter point is often overlooked.
An alternative is to use a payable-on-death designation, naming the other as the beneficiary of the account. While alive, the owner (the parent) controls the account, and the account is not subject to interference from the other of the other’s creditors. When the owner passes, the account passes to the beneficiary: The funds are promptly transferred--that is, the account is not subject to the delay of the probate process.

Many other assets, such as stocks, brokerage accounts, or bonds can be transferred on death. Consult the account manager or custodian for details.

 * Image by upklyak on Freepik