Beware of generational Joint Account at a Bank and Investment Firms
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Beware of generational Joint Account at a Bank and Investment Firms

Generational Bank Accounts are becoming more and more common as parents are living longer.  Here are a few concerns to consider on this topic:
  1. When a parent sets up a joint account with one of their children to oversee the bills etc. it is important that parents write in a letter the same day what their intentions are for this joint account if they were to die?  3 letter scenarios at the parents discretion:

Write a letter stating that the child joint with you is to keep the account for his or her self after all estate expenses have been paid from the same joint account.

Write a letter stating that the child joint with you keep the account exclusively for him or herself after you pass away.

Write and date a letter that this account is to be divided between all children but kept outside of the estate matters.

2.  Canada's Supreme Court or or about 2008 made it clear and will presume that joint accounts, investments or other assets with a parent and a child to be that the child was only placed on the joint account for convenience for the parent receiving supervision and assistance, and not that the child would inherit this money (when the money was contributed by the parent only.)  To avoid this confusion it is best for the parent to write a letter on the same day the Joint Account was open stating what is to happen to that joint account after they pass away. 

3. VERBAL communication of the same will not be as effective.

4.  A clause in a will can confirm that the joint account is to be the property of the child or not once the parent passes away.

5.  Give a note to the bank teller as well for that joint account. 

If any of the above are not addressed in written form, another sibling may have the right to contest the joint account once the parent(s) pass away.

For more details contact us at or 403-293-5488

11 Comments to Beware of generational Joint Account at a Bank and Investment Firms:

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