My 25 year old daughter purchased a house on her own. I am her mother and on her checking and savings accounts. I do not contribute to her accounts. It is strictly for an emergency . An attorney (not ours) said that is a bad idea in case we were ever sued. Is there a way she can be protected? or should I remove my name and should she be alone on the accounts? Thank you.

Terry Says:

It seems a practical thing to have a joint account with your daughter — allowing you to easily transfer money into the account in case of an emergency, or write a check if she cannot act on her own behalf.  (Imagine, terrible as it seems, that she is in a coma after an accident and you need to advance month to pay bills.)  If she were to die, you would have immediate ownership of her account (or any other property titled in joint name).  That’s the upside of a bad situation.

On the other hand, the downside is that either of you is exposed if one is sued.  Now you have to think about the likelihood of that happening, and the amount of money that would be exposed to this risk in a checking account, versus the benefits of the convenience of “sharing” an account.  Obviously, there is a great deal of mutual trust between you, since you can each view the other’s activity on the account — either through bank statements, or online.  And, of course, you have equal access to the money in the account.