If you want to open a bank account that gives access to two people, then a joint bank account is what you need to open. There are various types of joint accounts available so do your research before you head out to the bank.
Here’s some basic information you need to know about how to open a joint bank account.
- Determine whom you want to open an account with. You need at least two people to open a joint bank account. Oftentimes, a joint bank account is opened between a husband and wife or a boyfriend and girlfriend. You may want to open one with your adult child, business partner or friend. Keep in mind that if you open a joint bank account with someone, you are legally bound to be responsible for the account along with the other person. For example, if you open a joint checking account and the other person issues checks that bounce, then you are also liable for that even if you did not personally issue the check. Who you open a joint bank account with can influence your credit standing with the bank, so choose carefully.
- Choose the bank you want to open an account with. There are many banks out there. There are the giant multinational banks, as well as your local bank or credit union. Choose the bank you are comfortable with, gives you good service and provides you the services that you need, such as online banking, free ATM access and so forth. You may want to open an account with your existing bank since you already have a relationship with the bank.
- Choose which type of account you want to open. Do you want to open a savings account? When you open the account, do you want it to be a trust account or a joint account with rights of survivorship? The type of account you get will depend on the relationship you have with the person you are opening the account with and what you will use the account for. Talk to the new accounts manager to get a thorough explanation of which one your best option is.
- Present your proof of identification. When you are ready to open the account, both of you need to go to the bank and present a valid identification card with picture. Complete the necessary paperwork and sign the signature cards. You should also discuss with the new accounts manager if you want ATM cards, checkbooks, a passbook and any other item relating to the account.
- Deposit the minimum amount of money needed to activate the account. There is a minimum deposit required to be able to open an account. Usually it’s $100. There’s also a minimum maintaining balance that you need to maintain to avoid paying fees. Be sure you are clear what these amounts are to avoid paying unnecessary penalties.
If you’re not sure which type of account you want to open, talk to the new accounts manager of the bank. He will be able to guide you as to the best type of account you can open depending on your needs. Take the time to ask questions so you can make sure that you get things done properly.