A joint account is a type of bank account that allows more than one person to own and manage it. There is no restriction regarding who can be an owner, which can include spouses, friends and business partners, among others. Everyone named on the account has equal access to funds, regardless of who deposited the money.
Joint bank accounts aren’t for everyone, and the rules for how your money is handled in the event of death or divorce vary depending on the type of joint account you open and your state’s laws. Below, we discuss the various factors to consider when opening a joint account, along with a comparison of its different forms, instructions for opening an account and advice on how to manage it well.