Shouldn’t I just put my house and bank accounts
in my children’s names? Oh, my! We often hear bankers recommending
this, and that may be helpful in terms of paying your bills, but generally it won’t
give you the other assistance you may need. For example, a joint owner of a bank account
can’t contact an insurance company, cannot access your IRA, cannot make your healthcare
decisions, and the list goes on and on. In addition, adding a child’s name to a bank
account or a house can put your assets at risk to your child’s creditors. Or even
worse, what if your child has a disability, and is in need of needs-based assistance.
What if your child files bankruptcy? Your child’s creditors may try to attach your
resources. I’ve got a list that continues on and other considerations that are important.
Generally, as clients consider all of those issues, we find better planning options for
them than risking their life savings and home, by simply adding the child’s name to it.