Is a joint account a good banking option for you? Find out in this article.
- A joint account is a bank account that two or more individuals share.
- Joint account holders have equal access to all funds.
- Signatures of one or all account holders may be required for transactions carried out through a joint account.
- Joint accounts come with all the benefits you get with a basic savings account.
- Joint accounts are opened mainly by people from the same family or business partners.
Banks offer various types of savings account that allow you to park your money safely and access it as needed. These accounts also come with a bouquet of facilities that enable you to conduct your everyday banking transactions in a safe and seamless manner. One such type of savings account is a joint account. Let us find out more about joint accounts in this article.
What is a joint account?
A joint account is a type of savings account which you can open jointly with one or more individuals. It is usually created by families, business partners or spouses who share a degree of familiarity. Joint account holders typically get equal access to funds parked in the accounts. Most banks allow two or more individuals to open a joint account together, enabling them to pool their funds in one single account for safekeeping. A few banks allow up to four joint holders in such joint accounts, but every bank offering savings accounts will also offer joint accounts in India.
How does a joint bank account function?
Joint accounts operate in more or less the same way as any regular savings accounts. The chief distinction is that more than one user can operate a joint account. The sums deposited in a joint bank account belong equally to all owners, who can deposit and withdraw money as needed. You may conduct your banking transactions on an 'either/or' basis. This simply means that the signatories for transactions can be either one of the joint account holders, or all of them, based on the selection made by all parties at the time of account opening. You must open a joint account only with someone you know and trust, as it involves giving someone complete control over all the funds parked in this type of bank account.
You get all the primary benefits with a joint account, such as debit cards for all account holders and cheque books with names of all account holders embossed on cheque leaves. You also get access to other facilities like internet banking, access to loans, mortgages, and lines of credit (for joint business accounts), among other things.
The procedure to open joint accounts is very similar to that of opening a regular account. All parties being named as joint account holders need to be present while opening the accounts. You may open the account online or at the bank.
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Pros of a joint account
Joint accounts offer a lot of benefits to their holders. The following are some of the significant benefits of this type of account.
- As a parent, you can open a joint account with your children. You can deposit money received by the children on birthdays and special occasions and start building their savings from a You can also deposit money for their higher education, marriage etc., in this account.
- A joint account is excellent for two partners engaged in business. Both partners can operate the account. It helps make banking convenient and also maintains transparency in business transactions.
- If you have an aged parent, you can create a joint account with them and help them with the banking processes.
- Joint accounts are also ideal for spouses who are named co-owners and co-borrowers of loans, as both parties can deposit their shares in the tab equally and pay the EMIs conveniently.
Limitations of a joint account
Joint accounts may also have a few limitations that account holders need to keep in mind before creating one. They include the following:
- The death of a joint account holder and any consequent quarrels among remaining account holders regarding the division of funds may lead to legal battles, thereby restricting access to funds until such time that any issues are resolved.
- If one of the joint account holders indulges in illegalities, a joint account may be frozen, causing limited access to funds.
- Joint accounts may complicate tax implications for account holders. If you earn interest on the account, you will be held liable for income produced through this based on your share.
One of the biggest perks of opening a joint account is the ease of having and accessing money through a single account seamlessly. You and your joint account holder can pool all your finances in one account to pay off your mortgages, taxes, EMIs or other joint debt payments. This is both convenient and enables you to manage and record all transactions seamlessly.
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*Disclaimer: This article is for information only. We recommend you get in touch with your income tax advisor or CA for expert advice.