Joint checking accounts can be opened with any individuals, there is no requirement that the account holders have to be married or even be related to one another.  Joint checking accounts are usually established to help manage household bills with individuals that live together, with a wife, with a husband, civil partner, or a family relation.  But there is no banking regulation that would require there be an existing relationship between the account holders on a joint account.   Joint account holders on checking accounts, savings accounts, or other deposit accounts are free to open the account with anyone they choose to.

A joint account has offers a number of advantages for married couples, partners and family members.  The advantages range from easier money management to facilitated access to finances.  Joint account holders can all add funds into the account, pay bills from the account, or withdraw cash.  Joint accounts are also often established with rights of survivorship.  With rights of survivorship on the joint account, the money in the account will become the sole property of the surviving account holder in the event that one of the account holders dies.

Joint bank accounts can have their drawbacks as well.  Whoever shares a joint bank account has full access to that checking or savings account.  Because all individuals on the account have access to the joint account funds, one person can spend some or all of the funds in the checking account without needing permission from the other account holder or account holders.  Each account holder will be held responsible if the other joint holder overdraws the account, incurs bank fees, and run into other financial misdeeds through use of the account.

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