Joint account ownership

What’s better joint account ownership or trust account ownership? Different account titling is better for different people in different situations.  However, in most cases ownership in the trust is the most flexible and long last answer.  For example, I was talking to a client last week who has a trust. Her adult son is co-trustee with her on the trust. She told me she was opening a new bank account and would name her son as payable on death on that account. I said, ok but what about signing checks NOW?  I told her that a “bank power of attorney” is a good option but can be difficult to arrange at some banks.  She said she would do joint ownership or joint tenancy then. I said that was fine but what if something happened to her son? What if her son had creditor issues?  What if, what if, what if….  The end result was I suggested she put the account in her trust. She already has the trust set up, her son is already co-trustee and thus the trust is the best solution. No attorney fees involved since it’s already set up, less bank forms, and good flexibility!

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