Joint Account vs. Payable on Death Accounts

The main difference between a payable on death bank account and a joint bank account is the control of the account while the named account holder is alive.  A joint account is controlled equally by both named account holders and two signatures may be required to close the account.  When one joint account holder dies, the joint account holder takes possession and control of the entire account.

A beneficiary on a payable on death account only has control after the account holder has died.  The beneficiary must show proof of identification and a death certificate in order to take possession and control of the account. No court hearing or other process is necessary and there is no waiting period.

Get Legal Help

Understanding how to establish your bank accounts is an important element of your entire estate planning process. Contact Estate Planning Attorney Elga Goodman today at 973-841-5111 to learn all your options.

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