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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Joint Checking Account: To Share or Not to Share – That is the Question

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If you’ve got a wedding on the horizon, you’re likely focused on the excitement of planning everything from the flowers to the food. But brides and grooms-to-be also need to make financial plans, and that involves a discussion about whether or not to have a joint checking account. No two couples are alike, so there’s not one right answer, but having a candid discussion early on is a wise investment.
The benefits: Merging money at the time of your nuptials means there are no surprises down the road. Finances will be a cinch to track because they’re all in one place, and both spouses will have access to online banking tools. Both can make withdrawals and deposits, and in the unfortunate event that one spouse passes away, the other automatically retains the money in the joint checking account without the need to involve the legal system.
The flip side: Some couples may be more comfortable with the sense of autonomy that comes with having their own account, particularly early in the marriage. If one partner doesn’t inform the other of withdrawals or payments, which can happen inadvertently, overdrafts and fees can result.
The alternative: Newly married couples may opt to open a joint checking account, perhaps to fund a vacation or the down payment for a house, while they also maintain separate accounts for other expenses.
Other considerations: Whatever you decide, communication is key. In addition to finances, couples should discuss insurance coverage and needs, in order to lay a solid foundation before tying the knot.

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