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If my name is on my mothers bank account, and she is sued, can I also be sued?

Romeo, MI |

My name is currently not on my mothers bank accounts, but she wants my name added to her bank account for access to her account if needed, or for at the time of her death. Am I liable?
If I am, how can I have legal access to her acount if needed without the risk?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

If it is just a bank account.. no you cannot be sued. but they could take all the money for her care so do not put any of your own $$ in it.

Now if she asks to put you on the title to her car... be careful!

If I can be of additional assistance please feel free to email me at james@weineresq.com or call me at 248-901-0750. Please also note that I answered this question with general knowlege of the law and with limited disclosure from you, my answer does not create an attorney client relationship and I cannot be held responsible for how you, the asker, use the information I provide.

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2 comments

Charles E. Damon

Charles E. Damon

Posted

Additionally, she should be aware that YOUR creditors might try to seize the money to pay YOUR debts, so your name on her account could create a risk for her, even though it wouldn't for you.

John F. Brennan

John F. Brennan

Posted

It is also possible to, with a power of attorney, and a modification of the contract with your mother's bank, to allow you administrative rights to your mother's accounts, but with no ownership in them. You, and your mother should, should each seek separate counsel regarding the various options available to you as well as the legal result of any action which your chose to undertake.

Posted

No, in general, you can not be sued for being a bank account holder. The bank account is merely an asset, and has no liability associated with it; hence, you can have your name on the bank account without incurring any liability. Alternatively, you can also have your mother execute a Durable Power of Attorney, granting you the authority to making financial decisions on her behalf. You can also setup a living trust for your mother, with you as a trustee, and open bank accounts in the name of the trust; you will then have the ability to manage the assets of the trust for the benefit of your mother and any other beneficiaries whom she names.

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