Joint bank account

Joint bank accounts can be a good way for your family member to learn how to manage their own money.

As the joint account owner, you can manage the amount that is kept in the account in order to control spending.

Note: If your family members gets government benefits (like SSI) and you are also the representative payee, by law you cannot be the co-owner of a joint bank account. You must choose someone else you and your family member trust.

Here's what you can do:

  1. Talk with your family member, a lawyer or financial planner, or other helpful people like a teacher or case manager. See what they think about this idea.

  2. Choose a bank and set up the joint account. You can go in person or apply online. Usually, an online application will take 1-2 days.

  3. Have the following info ready for both your family member and yourself (or the person who will co-own the account):

    • Social Security number

    • Current home address

    • Email address

    • Your opening deposit into your new account. This can be cash, check or a transfer from another account.

Sources: Jackins (2010), Nadworny & Haddad (2007)
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