Say that persons A and B have a joint bank account, with A as the primary owner, and assume that A gets sued. I understand of course that all funds in the account are exposed in the suit even if B had nothing to do with the law suit. My question is whether other assets of B are at risk by virtue of B’s financial association with A in this account.

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    Does A have any proprietary interest in B's assets? e.g. joint ownership or any other potential claim?
    – user35069
    May 13, 2022 at 20:40
  • No joint ownership. A is named as beneficiary of B's assets (A is B's child) in the event of B's passing, if that counts. May 13, 2022 at 22:53

1 Answer 1



Merely having a joint bank account with soemoen does not make one person responsible for the other person's debts or obligations.

However, a financial association of the kind which leads to a joint account may also involve liability for some of the othet person's obligations. For instance, a very common reason for having a joint account is when two people are married. Being married often involves mutual financial obligations, but not because of the joint account. Another reason for having a joint account is if the people involved are in a partnership. Partners are all liable for partnership obligations, but are usually not liable for the obligation of another partner that are not part of the partnership business.

In short it depends on why the joint account exits. merely having such an account will not make one liable, but what ever relationship caused two people to have a joint account might also involve shares liabilities, but not just because of the joint account.

  • Okay, more specifically it's an adult child's account with the parent named as a co-owner for historical reasons (account was originally a custodial account). May 13, 2022 at 22:57
  • @Not_Einstein While a parent may be responsible for a minor child's debts in some cases, there is normally no liability for an adult child unless it is assumed in some specific agreement. Merely having a joint bank account will not of itself make a parent of a minor child liable for that child's debts beyond the contents of the account. May 13, 2022 at 23:03

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