Should You Open a Joint Account with Your Child? Understanding the Benefits and Risks

Deciding whether to open a joint account with your child is a significant financial decision that involves careful consideration of various factors. This decision can impact your financial goals, the dynamics of your relationship with your child, and the legal and financial implications associated with shared accounts. Understanding the pros and cons can help you make an informed choice that best suits your needs and circumstances.


  • Ease of Access: A joint account allows both parties to access the funds easily. This can be beneficial if you want your child to help manage your finances or have access in case of an emergency.
  • Convenience: It simplifies the process of transferring money between you and your child and can make paying bills or managing shared expenses easier.
  • Estate Planning: Joint accounts can be a way to transfer assets to your child without going through probate, as the funds typically pass directly to the surviving account holder.


  • Control and Trust Issues: Your child will have equal access to the funds, which requires a high level of trust. There is a risk that the funds could be misused.
  • Legal and Financial Implications: The money in the account legally belongs to both parties, which can complicate things like divorce settlements or lawsuits.
  • Tax Considerations: Both you and your child may be liable for taxes on the account, and large deposits or withdrawals can have tax implications.
  • Impact on Benefits: If either party is receiving means-tested benefits, the joint account balance may affect eligibility.


  • Power of Attorney: Granting your child a financial power of attorney allows them to manage your finances without giving them ownership of your assets.
  • Payable-on-Death (POD) Account: This allows the funds to pass to your child upon your death without going through probate, but they have no access while you are alive.
  • Financial Advisor: Consulting with a financial advisor can help you determine the best approach for your specific situation.

Given the complexities involved in this decision, it’s highly recommended to consult with an estate planning attorney. Eastham Law Offices can provide personalized advice based on your unique circumstances and help you navigate the legal and financial implications. Reach out to our office today to ensure that your financial decisions align with your long-term goals and provide the best protection for you and your family. To schedule an appointment, call us at 561-395-6800 or complete our intake form online, and we will be in touch to discuss how we can assist you.