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Joint Bank account
What happens if someone passes away


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#1 Honeycowz

Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:11 PM

DH and I have a joint bank account and always have and its always worked great for us.

however recently his grandmother passed away (she lived O/S). Her husband is still living, yet unable to access his money as he held a joint account with his wife. The average time, I've been told to settle an estate is 3 months. Meaning he won't have access to any of his funds until it has been settled.

Is that the case her in Australia too. If my DH was to suddenly pass away...would the kids and I find ourselves stranded, knowing there was funds, but not being able to access them as everything we hold is in joint names? unsure.gif



#2 minich

Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:20 PM

When DH & I opened our joint account. I'm pretty sure that there was an option to have only 1 or two signatures to make a withdrawl. So if you opted for 1 sig either you or your husband could withdrawl money out without needing the other person. Good for deaths but not so good if there's trust issues. So obviously with 2 signatures you both need to sign for any withdrawl transactions.


#3 fancie shmancie

Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:23 PM

The joint account could most certainly be used to pay for the funeral (on presentation of the funeral directors bill - the bank will normally make out a bank cheque in favour of the funeral director for the specified amount), however I am not sure on withdrawals other than this.

Might be worthwhile ringing your bank to check.  It may or may not depend on whether one or both signatures are required to withdraw from the account - something to ask them (DH has not worked in retail banking for some time so is a bit rusty).

My DH and I have always had separate accounts as well as a joint account for bill paying.  Generally our savings are split between the two separate accounts so that should there be a death, the surviving partner would not be in such dire straits if any delays occur.





#4 *Lib*

Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:25 PM

The minute you tell the bank someone has died, they'll lock the account.

#5 BentoBaby

Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:29 PM

We have joint accounts (& a joint home loan) and they are set up "either to operate" which means DH or I can take money out (via the branch, online or with our cards).

I assumed every married couple did things this way up until I recently discussed it with friends and found out how many people operated their own accounts even with mortgages huh.gif, and how many had to use their own "savings" to fund stuff while they were on maternity leave  ohmy.gif. DH & I share everything, I wouldn't even know how to split up what money comes from where unless I sat down and looked it up.

#6 upup

Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:37 PM

This happened to my mum when my dad dies - she was left broke as all the accounts were in my dads name. It was devastating for her - she has since kepty a slush fund in her own name.

This happened to my mum when my dad died - she was left broke as all the accounts were in my dads name. It was devastating for her - she has since kepty a slush fund in her own name.

#7 louib76

Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:41 PM

joint accounts are held as "either or the survivor" in the bank i work.  big bank in aust.

if one person was to pass away the account remains operational  to the other party and can remain a joint account until the survivor decides to close it and open a new one in their own name.

if the account was just in the name of the person who passed away it would be stopped immediately and would be dispersed as per the will , however funeral expenses and other bills could be authorised to be drawn out of the account

#8 ekbubby

Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:15 PM

My mum and step dad had a joint account and when  he passed she was still able to access it.

She just withdrew everything out and put it in her other account then closed it down.

DH and I have joint everything, bank accounts, mortgage, credit cards, etc and they are all set up so that if one of us dies the other still has complete access.

#9 Pearson

Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:23 PM

When I worked at a bank, we would change the name of the acct to read joe bloggs and the estate of jane bloggs.  if it was a single acct, then no one else would be able to access it other than the executor of the will, as it would form part of the estate.

#10 TEN!

Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:27 PM

In Australia, joint assets pass directly to the survivor.

DH & I have seperate finances.  Works fine for us.  I see no reason to have a joint account.

#11 Lawsie

Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:32 PM

I just changed my bank account over to joint names - long story as to why it wasn't that way. I was told that if one of us died, the other would still have access to the account. Whereas if it was not a joint account, the government regulations state that the account has to be locked.

#12 babblefish

Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:34 PM

My mother and father have always had separate bank accounts with $ in for this type of situation. My mother has a term deposit with X amount in it always. she can break the term for a minimal fee.

i think it is a good idea.



#13 anotherlogin

Posted 19 April 2010 - 01:35 PM

if it is a "joint" bank account, the surviving "joint" person gets the money.  So if you had a joint account with your spouse, but say left "ALL" your assets in your will to your children, your spouse still gets the money in your "joint account".  Same goes for property, if you buy a house "joint tennants", then if one person dies, ther other joint person automatically iinherits.  If it's "tennants in common" then it depends on what your will says.


#14 Honeycowz

Posted 19 April 2010 - 01:44 PM

QUOTE (mtilly @ 16/04/2010, 09:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have joint accounts (& a joint home loan) and they are set up "either to operate" which means DH or I can take money out (via the branch, online or with our cards).

I assumed every married couple did things this way up until I recently discussed it with friends and found out how many people operated their own accounts even with mortgages huh.gif , and how many had to use their own "savings" to fund stuff while they were on maternity leave ohmy.gif . DH & I share everything, I wouldn't even know how to split up what money comes from where unless I sat down and looked it up.


I thought the same mtilly, to me it was just natural, but I'm realising that isn't the case and most people seem to have seperate. It wouldn't work for us though, although we'd probably save more biggrin.gif

I jsut want to make sure that if something happened to DH (heaven help us if it doesn't...I'd miss that crazy man) that the kids and I would still be able to survive. How frustrating it would be to want to feed your kids, have the money yet not be able to do it.
My children have zero tolerance or patience when it comes to their bellies biggrin.gif




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