Sometimes you make a decision that is penny wise and pound foolish and you come to regret it later on. Unfortunately, this is often the case when it comes to inheritance planning.
There are those who will always be looking for an easy way out, and they may buy into some notions that are less than ideal. One of these would be the idea that a joint account is the answer.
Joint bank accounts are sometimes thought of as a “poor man’s estate plan.” In reality, if you go this route you may be inviting difficulties.
For example, let’s say that you add your brother onto an account that you have funded. At some point in time he applies for Medicaid to pay for long-term care.
Medicaid has a strict upper financial resource limit. The program is not going to ask who deposited the money in the account. His name is on it, so the funds are legally his to utilize freely and this could hinder his eligibility.
What if this brother had trouble with creditors? What if he was on the losing end of a legal judgment? These resources are technically his just as much as they are yours and they could be targeted.
And of course, you never know what someone may do under trying circumstances if they have access to funds that they are really not supposed to touch until and unless you pass away.
The better choice is to simply do the right thing and have an estate plan prepared by a professional so that you can be certain that you will be steering clear of these types of unpleasant scenarios.
Latest posts by Alan Augulis, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- Trust Administration 101 for the First-Time Trustee - August 23, 2018
- Do I Need a Medicaid Planning Attorney? - June 11, 2018
- Can an Incapacity Planning Attorney Help Me Plan for the Possibility of Alzheimer’s? - May 1, 2018