Learn about joint bank accounts
Question & AnswerWhat are probate fees and can I reduce them?
If 2 or more people are listed as joint owners of a bank account, what happens to your share when you die depends on how the account was set up and what you want.
You can decide if you want your share to go to your or to the other account owner. If it goes directly to the other account owner, it does not become part of your estate and it is not included when calculating probate fees.
Make sure you write down what you want to happen to your share if you die before the other owner. You can do this in:
- the bank papers when you set up the account,
- your will, or
- another document.
Keep in mind that there can be some risks when you own bank accounts jointly. For example, any of the joint account holders can deposit and withdraw money from the account at any time, even when you’re alive. They don’t have to tell you or get your permission before accessing the account.