If my father and I have a joint checking account, am I responsible for his debts in the event of his death?

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If my father and I have a joint checking account, am I responsible for his debts in the event of his death?

Are assets in my name only in jeopardy?

Asked on July 16, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Kentucky

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all, children do not inherit their parents debts. So no, your personal assets (i.e.those listed solely in your name) would not be at risk in the event of your father's death. However, his estate would be responsible for payment of his debts; you could be affected by this. Any assets held in his name alone or jointly would be at risk. Therefore this means that your joint checking account could be frozen and sezied if a creditor makes an enforceable claim on it. The fact is that the best way to protect your money is to keep it separate and apart from your father's.


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