Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Here’s an easy way to plan for incompetency: Put assets in joint name so either co-owner can act individually, if the other becomes incapacitated. The advantage? Putting a bank, brokerage, or mutual fund account in joint name is simple and inexpensive. If one party becomes incompetent, the other party can pay bills, move money, handle investments, etc. The disadvantages? You lose control over jointly-held assets because the co-owner has equal access to them. You also lose flexibility in estate planning. If you add your don John’s name to your bank account he’ll be the one who’ll inherit the entire amount; you can’t leave this account (or any portion of it) to anyone else. One other disadvantage is that the younger owner’s creditors may have access to the account, even though the assets really belonged to a parent or another older relative.