If my brother’s name is on my mother’s checking account, will he be personally responsible for paying off her debts once her assets are liquidated?

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If my brother’s name is on my mother’s checking account, will he be personally responsible for paying off her debts once her assets are liquidated?

Asked on September 5, 2012 under Estate Planning, Maryland

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Just because your brother is named on your mother's checking account does not make him personally responsible for her debts.  In Florida, being named on the account makes him a co-owner of the account.  He can remove the money and, once your mother dies, the money would belong to him.  He can, of course, pay her debts, but he is not required to do so. 

This is one reason why placing one child's name on the parent's bank account is not the best way to achieve convenience and help.


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