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?
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!
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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.