How to Remove a Secondary Person From a Joint Account

There are several reasons why you might want to remove a secondary person from a joint account, including going through a breakup or removing your parents from a joint account you had as a kid. Removing a secondary person from your joint account might seem like a headache, but it is always in your best interest to protect your finances, and sometimes that means having a bank account that is in your name alone.

With a joint bank account, both parties have access to the money, and both parties are able to withdraw funds and make deposits. If you want sole ownership of your bank account and the money you deposit, you will need to remove the secondary person from your joint account.

Working With Your Bank

Each bank has individual requirements when it comes to removing someone from a joint account. Most, like Wells Fargo and TD Bank, require you to close the joint account and reopen a new, personal account instead of just removing one person from the joint account. Usually, this must be done in person at a bank branch location. Because both joint account holders have rights to the money in the joint account, your bank will likely require you to bring your account co-owner with you to close the account.

Withdrawing Your Money

Most banks require that an account have a balance of zero dollars before they will allow you to close the account. This means that you will need to withdraw the total amount of money in the joint account before you can close it. If your bank account has a negative balance, you will need to pay the amount due before you can close the account.

Closing Forms

Your bank will require you to fill out a form that gives the bank permission to close your account. These forms will explain that you will no longer have access to the account once it is closed. It will confirm that you have paid any balance owed, and the bank has returned any money that was previously held in the account you are closing. You will need to show photo identification and be willing to sign the closing forms in order to formally close your account.

Establishing a New Individual Account

Once your joint account is closed, you can put the money that was previously in your joint account into a personal checking account bearing only your name. If you already have a personal checking account, you can simply deposit the money that was previously in your joint account into your personal checking account. Otherwise, your bank can help you set up a new personal checking account under your name. An individual checking account will be in your name only, and you won’t have to worry about the complications of having a joint account owner.

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