What is a Joint Brokerage Account? Should you have One?

A Joint Brokerage Account can be used for investment, although, a lot of people make use of the Joint Brokerage Account for several reasons.

Also, a joint brokerage account is a standard account that is usually shared between two or more people, who can be business partners, married couples, relatives, and any group of people interested in sharing an account as long as they agree to do so.

The names on the account have absolute access to the money in the account, the joint brokerage can be set up in so many ways with its rules and regulations.

Meanwhile, the joint brokerage account has so many benefits for the account owners such as free access to bonds, stocks, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, and other unique benefits that will be discussed in this overview.

There are also a few implications attached to it, and this is why you should think properly before deciding to share a joint brokerage account with anyone.

Joint brokerage accounts are quite similar to the usual accounts, except they can have two or more authorized owners. A  Joint brokerage account can be temporary or permanent depending on what the owners want.

A joint brokerage account is literally for anyone who has complete trust in their partner because with is an account both owners of this account have equal rights and access to the funds available.

A lot of People usually have joint brokerage accounts with more than two account holders, and this can also help you save up for your retirement funds, or for a new business.

This overview will give you an insight into everything you need to know about what is a joint brokerage account and why should you have one, as well as other important details.

What Is a Joint Brokerage Account?

A joint brokerage account is an account that usually has two or more authorized owners, and this account can be owned by couples, business partners, a parent, and child, or other sets of people interested.

Joint brokerage accounts are helpful if you’re looking to combine your capital with someone you trust completely, and this can be a family member, a partner, or your spouse.

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Types of a Joint Brokerage Account

There are several types of joint brokerage accounts, which are;

A.  Tenants In Common

This type of account simply means that, if eventually one of the owners dies, the other owner won’t receive any share of the decedent, and the decedent’s funds will be added to their business.

This type of account is commonly used between business partners.

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B. Community Property

This type of account can only be used between married couples. The account owners asset are 50/50, and if one owner dies, the decedent’s share will go to their estate.

C. Joint Tenant with Right of Survivor-ship

This type of account can be used by all of the other types, with the benefit of, when one owner dies, the surviving owner gets full ownership of the assets in the account, and each owner can decide on how they want their assets to be shared after their death.

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D. Joint Tenants by Entirety (TBE) Accounts

This type of account can be used by all. Unlike community property, if one owner dies, the surviving owner gets to takes over the deceased’s share of the assets.

How Does a Joint Brokerage Accounts Work

Just like any regular account, joint brokerage accounts can be on a permanent or temporary basis between business partners, couples and a parent and a child, this account can have two or more authorized owners.

Savings, deposit, checking, credit cards, and other credit products such as loans, lines of credit, and mortgages are included in a joint brokerage account.

Usually, joint brokerage account created for married couples are permanent and in a rear case of divorce, they both can share the assets 50-50.

A temporary joint brokerage account is common between business partners contributing money for the short term.

Bank accounts jointly combined between two parties may be created with an “Or” Or “And” Between the account holders’ names, meaning,  if it is an “Or” Account, only one of the owners needs to sign; but if it is listed as an “And” Account, then both/all parties must sign in order to have access to the funds.

How to Open a Joint Brokerage Account

Joint brokerage account is very similar to an individual account.

With joint brokerage account, each party are to be present at the bank when the account is open, because their signature will be required, the account can be created solely for a deposit, loan or mortgage, and others.

Benefit of Joint Brokerage Account

A joint brokerage account is a must-have for people who want to do short-term or long-term business, and even for families. The advantages of this type of account are countless, and this might even encourage you to set up one with your partner.

Joint brokerage accounts come with so many benefits for both account owners. Here are a few benefits of a joint brokerage account;

1. Ability to Avoid Probate

With the joint account, you get to avoid the legal process of court verifying the will of your partner, making it easier to get immediate access to funds after their demise.

A joint brokerage account can easily avoid the issue of probating that problem. And if the account goes to the other account holder if you pass away, there will be no reason to go through the probate process.

2. Complete Ownership Of Assets By Both/All Holders.

One of the benefits of opening a joint brokerage account is quick access to funds. When both of the owners are alive, they have access to funds, and after one of the partners dies, they have access to the account. One of the owners will have access to the funds and probably cover the funeral expenses and also take charge of the account, or simply close it.

When you invest in a joint brokerage account, you can add your money for various reasons. The owners of this account can literally do anything within the account without the need to ask the other partner(s). They can make changes, transfer money, or check their account balance.

3. Lower Fees

One of the benefits of joint accounts is the fewer fees associated with the account since you’ll be sharing the cost with the other account owner.

4. You Can Easily Combine Capital for a Better Purpose

When it comes to this type of account, you can work together to save and invest toward a common goal.

Combining capital with your business partner or spouse for a better investment will not only improve your relationship but will also help increase your resources and also create a healthy balance.

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5. Trust Funds

A joint brokerage account can be set up between a parent and their child/children, in other for the child to take responsibility of the finances after the parent passes away.

Setting a trust fund for your child, will really help them in the long run.

6. Investments

Opening a Joint brokerage account with your business partner, your child or your spouse will open more room for investment, especially if the project is an expensive one.

A shared project means a lesser financial burden and this will increase your wealth greatly. But it is important to understand the business properly before engaging.

7. Makes Work Easier

A joint account usually involves two people and in some case three, and with this type of account, only one partner can manage the account without the other; but in some case, the management of the account can be shared, depending on the service you make use of.

Both account owner can view their account and transactions and can make deposits and withdrawals whenever they want to because they both have equal access to the account.

Downsides of Using Joint Brokerage Accounts

Joint brokerage accounts has so many advantages that makes it appealing and suitable for most people.

It also comes with a few downsides but this shouldn’t get you discouraged.

Here are few downsides of the joint brokerage account;

1. The Account Comes With High Risk

The risk that comes with the joint brokerage account is so many.

First there is a risk associated with insurance, when two parties decides to make business together and then open an account to set up funds and eventually the business goes south, both account owner might run into some conflict due to this issue. This is why it is important to know the risk involved in a business before getting involved.

Although some risk comes with higher profit if it goes well. So, when an account holder invests in a share portfolio as a couple, it’s usually with a long-term strategy in mind, that is, the more duration involved the more the expected returns.

It is quite expected that when your business partner might not be comfortable with the investment decision you are making as thing can easily go wrong, and it is important that you don’t work alone.

2. Assets Are Not Easily Split When Things Go Wrong

One of the things that usually affect joint accounts, is the asset tying both parties together. What happens when the relationship goes sour?

Assets become stuck, both parties won’t be able to part ways except if they make proper arrangement when they are setting up the account, by drawing up an authorized agreement when making their first deposit.

Account-holders who want to split their assets might need to split the investments into reasonable percentages.

3. Complete Ownership Of Assets By Both/All Holders

Since both account owners has complete control over the account, they can decide to do whatever they want with the account, meaning one of the owners can sell off some or all of the brokerage assets and withdraw the money without the authorization of the other owner.

This usually happens in case of couples or other families making use of the joint brokerage account.

And due to the nature of the account, if creditors come after the assets of one of the owner, the entire joint account may be completely seized, which will also be a big risk to the other party.

4. Not Making Use Of The Right Tenancy

Making use of the wrong platform will easily put you at the risk of losing it all. Most people don’t understand the types of joint brokerage accounts available before signing up for one.

There are different types of tenancy available for you, whether you want to set up an account with your child or your spouse or even your business partner, there is always something for you.

Perhaps you want your heir(s) to be in charge of your funds after your demise, you can make use of Joint tenant with the right of Survivor-ship, there are other types available for you and this is why it is essential to make proper research before setting the account up.

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5. Mismanagement

Joint brokerage is an account available just people who completely trust one and other, as this account requires sincere honesty.

Any of the account owners can make any changes to the assets within the account at any time, even withdrawing the assets entirely without the consent of the other owners.

If one person decides to mismanage the funds available in the account, the other party might suffer it the most, and since they both have access to the account, nothing can be done except if the account is registered under joint tenants by entirety (TBE) accounts.

6. Tax Issues  

One of the downsides of joint brokerage account, is tax issues, supposing only one account-holder deposits money into a joint account, then that can sometimes constitute a taxable gift from the depositing account-holder to the other account-holder.

Even if there is just one profit in the account, it has to be reported to the IRS or else it might quickly activate tax liabilities.

Should I Set Up a Joint Brokerage Account

Setting up a joint brokerage account with your business partner, spouse or family members comes with a lot of benefits but it is very important to note the downsides associated with the account.

Many brokers will probably explain everything you need to know about the account and might limit you to accepting the easiest account options, but is essential you understand the types of tenancy that works best for you before engaging.

Joint brokerage accounts are very beneficial when both account owners are active and contribute equal funds to the account, and if they are both business partners, this will really help their investment in the long run of their businesses.

Joint brokerage account is really worth it, if you find a partner you can easily trust; and if you can’t trust your partner completely, you can make use of other available option that will help protect your assets.

You can make use of options like powers of attorney, trust accounts and other means that will help protect your interest even after your death.

You can also make use joint investment accounts for bigger reasons such as combining resources for a better investment, combining assets with a partner can help track collective progress.

FAQs on What is a Joint Brokerage Account

Can I open a joint brokerage account with my spouse?

Yes, you can easily open a joint account with your spouse.

What happens to a joint account when someone dies?

When one owner dies, the surviving owner gets full ownership of the assets in the account, each owner can decide on how they want their assets to be shared after their death.

Can I have two brokerage account?

Yes, you can open two or more joint brokerage account.

Who owns money in a joint brokerage account?

A joint brokerage account is a standard account that is usually shared between two or more people that is they both have access to the account.

Is it safe to open a joint brokerage account with my business partner?

Yes, you can easily open a joint account with your business partner.

Conclusion

Joint brokerage account is a good account decision for you and your trusted partner.

If you and your partner clearly understand your goals and the risks involved in joint investment account, you will both have a strong and lasting relationship.

Always make proper research on the risk and benefits involved in a joint brokerage account.  I do hope this overview gives you the answers to your questions.  

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