joint account

  

Definition

Bank account in the name of two or more individuals (account owners) who jointly (equally) share its concomitant rights and liabilities. Joint holders of an account are regarded in law as together making up the 'owner.' Any action against them (pertaining to that account) is made against jointly and not individually (severally). Two types of joint accounts are: (1) Joint-tenancy account (owned usually by a married couple) in which either owner may individually exercise full rights to make deposits or withdrawals on his or her signatures. In case of either owner's death, the survivor automatically takes the sole control of account assets without probate. (2) Tenants-in-common account (usually owned by two or more business partners or directors) in which signatures of all owners are required to exercise certain rights such as making withdrawals. In case of one or more owners' death the other owner(s) may take control of account assets only in accordance with the terms of agreement entered between them before such eventuality. A company account operated by two or more signatories as a means of accounting control or security is not a joint account in the legal sense. See also jointly and severally.

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