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  • Joint Account

    My husband is still in residency. We were talking about putting our checking and savings into one joint account at a federal credit union. However, we are wondering if this would be a poor move down the road. Wondering if it would be wise to keep separate accounts from an asset protection standpoint? We live in texas.

  • #2
    I think it's a good idea from a marriage standpoint and I think that vastly outweighs the asset protection issue. But your asset protection is probably slightly stronger with separate accounts. I mean, if he gets sued, you don't lose your account.
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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    • #3
      My wife and I are both physicians and she will start making "attending" money this summer.  We're debating this as well.  The current plan is to have separate accounts.  The last 7 years we have always had a joint account and I think the biggest issue is to continue thinking of all the money as "our" money and not his/her.

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      • #4




        My husband is still in residency. We were talking about putting our checking and savings into one joint account at a federal credit union. However, we are wondering if this would be a poor move down the road. Wondering if it would be wise to keep separate accounts from an asset protection standpoint? We live in texas.
        Click to expand...


        Another reason not to combine is to keep your emergency fund separate from your "spending" account. One account is to build, the other is to deplete and your budget helps you maintain clarity about your spending and saving to stay on track.
        Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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        • #5
          JOINT ACCT-just the right thing to do-No secrets-easier to do asset allocation-that's what marriage is

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          • #6
            reaching financial goals is so much easier with a joint account. we have checking/savings at a big bank and actual savings at a higher interest online bank.

             

            each month:

            investments come out of the paycheck before we ever see them

            paychecks auto-deposit into the joint account

            savings auto-transfers out of the account (capital one is nice in that you can have multiple piles of money for different things)

            credit cards paid in full each week lets us know how we're doing

            whatever's left at the end of the month can go to the splurge pile or something else worthwhile like loans or downpayment

             

            wifey tends to be much spendier than i am and i used to stress about it, but having a savings rate goal and just taking it out of one big pile at the beginning of the month has been really helpful for both of us.

             

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            • #7
              When we first got married we combined our checking accounts and it seemed to create a lot of minor friction about spending (I was still in med school).

              So we went back to separate accounts.  A few years later, it seemed right to combine again and we did and it went much better.  I think sometimes you have to grow into having everything together

              Now married 20+ years so it seems to have worked well for us, YMMV

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              • #8
                My wife and I had separate accounts for the first several years of our marriage, myself an MD and she a corporate attorney. I am the "money person" in the family, and in the end, all it meant was another thing for me to keep track. About ten years ago, we combined accounts. From an asset protection standpoint, I believe that it protects me (and therefore, "us") to some degree to have our assets in both of our names.

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                • #9
                  Because of Texas' community property laws, you won't get any asset protection benefit for your husband's potential medical malpractice liability by putting money that is community property into an account that is in your name (and not your husband's name).  If the funds were generated from income of either one of you during marriage, they are community property.  In fact, the funds are community property unless you can clearly show that the funds were owned by you prior to the marriage or were a gift to you (and not your husband) received after the marriage.  This means that you each have a 50% ownership interest in the funds.  Texas has a statute that makes clear that all of the community property of a spouse, including your 50% community property interest as well as your husband's 50% community property interest, can be reached by a tort creditor to satisfy liabilities for torts committed by either spouse during the marriage.  Medical malpractice is a tort.  The titling of the account in your name alone makes no difference for this purpose.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for that very informative answer BigLaw1636

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                    • #11
                      Thank you to everybody for your input! We really appreciate it!

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                      • #12
                        Is there any reason to have separate accounts for ESTATE TAX purposes nowadays

                        The federal exemption is beyond the reach of most, but not the state estate tax in many states, like NJ(675k/spouse)

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                        • #13
                          What exactly do you mean by "separate accounts"? Are you talking about trying to title assets equally between spouses during your lifetimes?
                          Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                          • #14
                            You need to look at your estate laws.  I am more familiar with PA and there would typically be no inheritance tax advantage to separate accounts.  When one spouse dies, half of the joint account is considered as belonging to each spouse.  Money "inherited" by a spouse is transferred at a 0% rate.

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