As part of the estate planning process, individuals will often consider establishing a joint account with one or more of their adult children or other family members. Sometimes, this is done as a tool for expediency so that a joint account holder can help to manage the account, or to make the assets immediately available to the survivors upon the death of first joint accountholder.
In other cases, a joint account is a planning to minimize probate tax. Whatever the motivation behind the account, before you open a joint account, it is important to be aware of the different joint account types available, how these different joint account types operate, and the resulting potential benefits and risks for each joint account type.
It is also important to consider how a joint account fits into your overall estate plan. There may be other estate planning tools that are more appropriate in light of your current or future estate planning needs.
Take a look at this article on joint account ownership to better understand the issues around using joint accounts to reduce probate fees.