When you simply add someone’s name to your bank account, you are subjecting that account to his or her creditors. You don’t have to be a bad person to be sued these days, or to be subject to a tax lien. You may also be inadvertently giving that person an ownership interest in your account. This in turn could also affect your estate and gift tax exemption available at death.

If you need help managing your finances, you can appoint an agent using a durable power of attorney and give them authority to manage your affairs without exposing your assets to their creditors or affecting your available estate and gift tax exemption. You can also use a revocable living trust to achieve the same result by transferring your bank accounts to your trust and listing the person you want to help manage your accounts as either the current Trustee of your trust, or as a Co-Trustee with you.

If you, a loved one or a friend need advice regarding setting up an estate plan or amending an existing one, please feel free to contact our office at 760-448-2220 for help. Please ask for the intake department.
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