Removing an individual from a joint bank account can be a thorny issue.  In most cases a bank will not allow an individual to be removed from a joint account based on the authorization of another joint account holder.

Joint account holders share equal access to an account which allows either account holder to use the account without limitations with the exception of changing the account ownership.  Generally, everyone whose name is on a joint account can write checks, withdraw money, and make transactions but not alter the account ownership.  Either account holder in a joint account is entitled to individually use the account but, one individual owner cannot remove the other.  Most banks do not allow the account terms to be changed once the account is open and they do not allow existing owners to be removed even if both parties of the joint account agree.

To remove the name of a signer or owner from a joint account, either account holder will need to close the joint account and open a new account.  Any person authorized to draw on an account can close the account.  A joint account holder can go to the bank where the joint account is held, ask to close the joint account and then transfer the money to another account in their name only.

Note – there are still some banks that do allow the change of ownership with an existing joint account with one account holder’s authorization, but it is uncommon.

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