What's effect of making beneficiary a co-signer on bank account?

by Amy

Our living trust states that all of our assests are to be divided equally between our 3 children. We're wondering if we add one child's name to all our bank accounts what effect this would have on the trust?

Would she be able to access that money, either before or after our deaths and not have to distribute it between the other children.

Or, since all of our accounts are in the trust, would she have to account for the money she took out and therefore, upon our death, would she have to make them whole?


Hi, this is really a question of what your trust provides.

Certainly, if you add a child to you bank account, that person will have access to it. They will be able to withdraw money and likely not have to account for it if withdrawn while you are still living -- unless the trust provides otherwise. If the trust simply says "divide equally" -- then it will likely be based on whatever assets you have when the trust is to be divided (after death).

Follow up if you have other questions.

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May 17, 2010
Add on to question
by: Anonymous

what if my biological child is listed as benificiary on Ira & accounts but I have other step children I've stated to have income divided equally. Does my biological child need to share the Ira? Note: The Ira is not in my trust.


Normally, if someone is listed as a beneficiary on an account they will be able to withdraw it no matter what the will says. Of course, the executor of the will might be able to take that into account when dividing other assets -- depending on how the will is worded. We talk about this more at How to Avoid Probate.

Apr 14, 2015
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