Can just one account holder withdraw all of the money out of an account?

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Can just one account holder withdraw all of the money out of an account?

My daughter had a joint account with her grandfather. She has been paying the taxes on the income from that account which has her SSN on it. Her grandfather withdrew all the money out. Is this legal?

Asked on July 5, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Is it legal to take money that is not yours?  Obviously not.  But can a joint account holder withdraw the funds in an account and basically leave it empty without the consent of the other account holder?  Yes they can.  The bank is not privy to the agreement and whatmoney belongs to who.  They just know that both have equal access to the account.  So I think that you are going to have to decide what you want to do here.  And by that I mean that your daughter may have to sue her Grandfather for the money that he took out that was not his.  Get together your proof - deposits, statements, 1099 info, taxes paid - what ever it is.  And then decide if you can do this in small claims court or it requires filing in a court that has a bigger monetary ceiling.  Good luck.


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