Can I Remove Myself From A Joint Bank Account? | MoneyLion (2024)

If you find yourself in a breakup or divorce, you may wonder whether you can close a joint bank account. Quietly closing a joint bank account is possible, but it will depend on whether you’re the primary account holder and whether all parties want to close the account. State law or the terms of the account often mean you cannot remove someone else from a joint bank account without their consent. But you should be able to remove yourself unless the bank specifically prohibits it.

Can one person close a joint bank account?

To close a joint bank account, all users will have to agree, usually in writing, before the account can be closed. If there are any overdrafts on the account, you won’t be able to close it until they have been paid. Likewise, if there are automatic payments linked to the account, like utilities or mortgage payments, you won’t be able to close the account.

What it means to remove yourself from a joint bank account

When you remove yourself from a joint bank account, you are no longer legally responsible for any of the account’s liabilities or obligations. For example, in case of a breakup or divorce, you may want to remove yourself from a joint bank account or close a joint bank account.

Likewise, if you agreed to be a joint signer on a bank account to help someone else open the account but don’t want to be liable for their debt, you may want to remove yourself from a joint bank account. In rarer cases, if you’re being sued and want to protect the funds of the joint account holder (assuming they’re not your spouse), you can remove yourself from the joint bank account.

Finally, if the joint account was opened for a specific purpose, like vacation savings or a business venture but is no longer in use, it may make sense to close the joint bank account. This can minimize fees for something you’re no longer using.

How to remove yourself from a joint bank account

If you want to remove yourself from a joint bank account, there are a few initial steps to take, including clearing any past debt. Here’s an overview of the key steps.

Pay off any debts or unsettled banking fees

Most banks won’t let you close a joint bank account or remove yourself from the account until all debts associated with it have been paid off. Closing a joint bank account does not absolve any debt associated with it. Ideally, keep the account debt-free to make it easier to close and avoid costly interest and fees. Talk to the joint account holder about paying off debt if you can.

Withdraw your funds

If you remove yourself from a joint bank account, any funds you contributed to the account or that were deposited into the account will become the sole property of the remaining account holder(s). If some of the funds were your funds, you may withdraw them. If possible, coordinate this with the joint account holder(s).

Review the bank’s policies

When removing yourself from a joint bank account, it is important to understand the bank’s specific policies. Some banks will only allow you to close the joint account and each reapply for separate accounts. Other banks will allow you to remove yourself as a joint account holder but require you to come in person. You can call your bank or check online to understand its specific policies about removing yourself as a joint bank account holder.

Inform the other person

Depending on the bank’s policies you may need written permission from the other account holder when removing yourself or closing a joint account. Whether the bank requires it or not, informing the joint account holder and discussing the distribution of funds and payment of debts, is courteous, if you can manage it.

Contact the bank

While most banks won’t let you remove the other joint account holder without their permission, many will allow you to remove yourself. Your bank can walk you through removing yourself from a joint bank account. You may need to submit a written request or go in person for a scheduled appointment.

Consider any fees

Some banks charge fees for removing a joint account holder or closing a joint bank account. Consult your bank to understand fees and decide with the other account holder(s) who will be responsible for these fees.

Confirm the account closure

If you’ve chosen to close a joint bank account rather than simply remove yourself, you’ll need to confirm with the bank that all debts are cleared and the account is officially closed. If you’ve removed yourself from a joint bank account and the bank account remains open, you can still confirm this is complete. You can also ask the bank for written confirmation.

Keep any documents

You should receive a confirmation, which you’ll want to keep for future reference. If you are later asked to make payments on the account you’ve been removed from, you can use this documentation to prove the date you were removed from the joint bank account.

Final thoughts on closing a joint bank account

Whether you choose to remove yourself from a joint bank account or close the joint bank account will depend on the situation and bank policies. Both options are feasible as long there are no outstanding debts or overdrafts on the account. If possible, communicate clearly with the joint account holder and then part ways equitably by either closing the joint bank account or removing yourself.

FAQ

Can one person remove themselves from a joint account?

Depending on bank policies, one person may be able to remove themselves from a joint bank account. For some banks, you’ll need to schedule an appointment at the bank. Other banks require written permission from the other joint account holder, and some only allow you to close the joint bank account and open new separate accounts.

Can I remove my name from a joint account without notifying the other person?

You may be able to remove your name from a joint bank account without notifying the other person as long as there is no outstanding debt on the account. Check your bank’s policies, as some banks don’t allow you to remove yourself from a joint bank account without notifying the other person or closing a joint bank account.

How long does it take to close a joint bank account?

How long it takes to close a joint bank account depends on bank policies, but it can be completed in a few days as long as there are no overdrafts or outstanding debts.

Can I Remove Myself From A Joint Bank Account? | MoneyLion (1)

Alison Kimberly Alison Kimberly is a freelance content writer with a Sustainable MBA, uniquely qualified to help individuals and businesses achieve the triple bottom line of environmental, social, and financial profitability. She has been writing for various non-profit organizations for 15+ years. When not writing, you will find her promoting education and meditation in the developing world, or hiking and enjoying nature.

Can I Remove Myself From A Joint Bank Account? | MoneyLion (2024)

FAQs

Can I Remove Myself From A Joint Bank Account? | MoneyLion? ›

You may be able to remove your name from a joint bank account without notifying the other person as long as there is no outstanding debt on the account.

Can I take my own name off a joint bank account? ›

If you are a joint account holder and, for whatever reason, you wish to have your name removed from the account, you can do so with no need for permission from the other party or parties. That said, in such cases the bank may change the original account or open a new one.

Can you remove yourself from a joint bank account online? ›

Generally, no. Banks require that both account holders consent to closing the account. It may be possible in some cases for one account holder to remove themselves from the account, though, without the explicit consent of both parties.

Can one person come off a joint account? ›

Take care of your joint accounts

In some cases, your bank will need to speak to both you and your partner before they can remove someone from an account. If the other person is refusing to give authorisation, you could freeze the account.

How do I get my wife's name off my bank account? ›

Individuals who have no desire to remain attached to the account in question can typically be neutralized during the course of a brief bank-branch meeting. You'll need to appear with the appropriate individual at a branch of your bank. You'll both require two forms of legal identification.

Is there a primary owner on a joint account? ›

Joint account holders share responsibility for that account and both are considered primary account holders.

Can you get in trouble for taking money out of a joint account? ›

The spouse who removed the funds could: Be ordered to put the money back into the account. Be ordered to give the other spouse something of equivalent value. Be ordered to pay legal fees, fines, and other court-ordered sanctions.

Is it illegal to transfer money from a joint account? ›

While no account holder can remove another account holder from a joint account without that person's consent, few banks will stop you from withdrawing or transferring the entire balance on your own. The most common joint account holders include parents and their children, spouses, and other close family members.

How to write a letter to bank manager to remove one person from joint account after death? ›

Dear Sir/Madam, I am Akash Reddy, holding a current account with number (mention your account number), beg to state that my mother passed away on 10th February, 2022 due to cardiac arrest. I kindly request you to update the information in my bank account at the earliest.

Does a joint account need both signatures to withdraw money? ›

Bank accounts held jointly between two parties may be titled with an "and" or an "or" between the account holders' names. If the account is listed as an "and" account, then both/all parties must sign to access the funds. If it is an "or" account, only one party must sign.

What happens to a joint bank account when you separate? ›

If you have a joint savings account, you can both spend or withdraw money from it separately. If you decide to separate, you can ask for the account to be blocked, which means that neither partner can access the savings independently.

Can I remove my ex from joint account? ›

Removing someone from a joint account

Both of you will need to sign forms agreeing to the removal.

Can you transfer ownership of a bank account? ›

Transferring a bank account refers to the process of moving the ownership of an account from one person to another. This is typically occurs when one account holder dies and the account is then transferred to the surviving account holder(s) or to the beneficiaries of the deceased's estate.

Can I sue someone for taking money from a joint account? ›

If your ex-partner takes money from your joint account or runs up debt on your joint credit card without your permission, you may be able to sue them in court. However, it can be difficult to win these cases. You should consult with an attorney to discuss your legal options.

Can you empty a joint bank account before divorce? ›

That means you cannot empty your joint account unless your spouse consents or you get a court order first. If you are considering divorce, it's important to prepare financially. Our attorneys can advise you regarding what information you need to gather and how to address your fears of having no funds.

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