What are the demerits of a husband and wife operating a joint bank account?
The main problem with a joint bank account is that if either person gets a judgment against them, the money can be taken from both of you.
Also, it is risky if the relationship breaks up. One partner, perhaps feeling justified, might take the money.
My wife and I keep joint accounts, but there's a lot of trust in a 25+ year marriage. You might open 3 accounts - joint for family expenses, then individual, as well.
This very much depends on the state you live in. In some states like maryland having a "joint tenacy by entirety" can insulate you from lawsuits and makes litigation against you impossible unless both spouses are sued. Depending on your asset level there can be estate planning benefits to segregating assets.
That is less of a factor with the new portability rules.
If your estate is not sizeable than the biggest concern is trust in the other party. While some states like NY have equitable distribution laws, it can be difficult to track down assets that have been liquidated to cash.
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