Autumn View Gardens works to ensure residents are safe in all areas, from physical health to financial security. Memory care situations can be particularly challenging when it comes to finances. Seniors who need help managing their money might consider establishing a joint checking account with a younger relative. Before making this major financial decision, it's important to understand how it works and what it means for you.
With age, making financial decisions and remembering to pay bills can become challenging. Seniors are often targeted for financial scams — older adults lost $1.7 billion in financial scams in 2021. Residents in memory care communities can be particularly vulnerable. A joint checking account lets a trusted loved one manage finances when it becomes difficult, giving them easy access to the money.
When another family member is added to a checking account, some benefits for the senior's financial situation include:
Giving someone else access to your bank account also comes with risks. It can cause issues for both seniors and their loved ones. Here are some risks to consider:
An adult child is a natural choice as a joint checking account holder, but another trusted adult or family member can also work. Consider the person's financial situation and how well they handle their money. If they struggle with money, they might not be trustworthy with yours. You want someone who cares about you and will put your needs first. Someone who is physically close and understands your situation can be better at managing your finances.
Joint checking accounts can work in some situations, especially when both parties are responsible with money. However, some alternatives can offer some of the same benefits without the risks. Consider these options:
The best solution for you depends on your situation. Those circumstances could sway you toward a certain solution. An estate attorney can help you decide on all types of issues with legal advice on how to protect your money and make your estate easier for your loved ones to handle.