Perhaps with a goal of keeping things simple, or simply trying to avoid probate, joint bank and brokerage accounts with right of survivorship are extremely popular today. One or all of the joint account holders could contribute to, or fund, the joint account and any of the joint holders could make withdrawals. The funds are payable to the survivor upon the death of the other joint account holders. Although the gift tax consequences of establishing a joint account, as well as the concept of a moiety, are generally not understood by many joint account holders, the biggest problem with joint accounts is the potential for abuse. Case law demonstrates that joint accounts are often established by the elderly for purposes of convenience or transferring the account upon their death.
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