RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

The Pitfalls of Joint Banking

September 17, 2015 1:06 am

Joint bank accounts are often viewed as an easy way to give financial caregivers the ability to manage money on behalf of older adults. In some cases, they are used so the co-signee inherits the funds upon the death of the primary account holder. However, both parties rarely understand the risks associated with joint accounts - or the alternatives available to them, according to the American Bankers Association (ABA) Foundation and the AARP.

“At any age, joint accounts may work for some, but we urge you to use caution before signing on the dotted line,” says AARP Chief Public Policy Officer Debra Whitman. “If you don't look before you leap, you could fall into trouble with your finances.”

Before deciding if a joint account is right for you, consider the following factors:

• The co-signee becomes financially responsible for taxes on the account. That means should the primary account holder owe the government back taxes at any point, the co-signee would be just as responsible to the IRS for that money.

• The money is just as much theirs as it is yours. Once someone is listed as a joint account holder, the co-signee and the primary account holder own that money equally in the eyes of a financial institution. Both parties will have the ability to withdraw funds whenever they see fit.

• Creditors can come after those funds. If an account owner were to incur substantial medical bills or face a lawsuit, the funds in the joint account could be used as a liable asset. A creditor might not differentiate between primary account holder and co-signee.

“Setting up a joint account essentially removes the financial firewall between both parties,” says ABA Senior Vice President of Bank Community Engagement Corey Carlisle. “There are often alternatives available that will protect the assets of older customers, as well as those of financial caregivers.”

Source: ABA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Relocating? Follow BBB's Tips to Avoid Problems

September 17, 2015 1:06 am

Consumers across the country have filed more than 8,000 complaints against moving companies in the last year, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Here's five tips from BBB to help your move go as easily—and trouble-free—as possible.

Plan early – summer is high season for movers, especially since an estimated 37 million Americans a year change residences. Reputable movers will want to do an on-site visit before writing up an estimate to see if there are any impediments which may extend the amount of time required to complete the move.

Ask for proof – Reputable movers will be able to show you proof they are registered with the state of operation, and are licensed and insured.

Get Full Value Protection insurance – Under “Release Value” insurance, movers assume liability of no more than 60 cents per pound per article at no extra charge. With Full Value Protection, your mover is liable for the replacement value of any lost or damaged goods. Under this option, they also have the choice of repairing the item, replacing it with a similar item or making a cash settlement offer for the cost of replacing the merchandise at its current market value.

Know your rights – Under federal law, movers are required to give to you a copy of the federal publication “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”.

Visit – You will find a wealth of resources from the Motor Safety Carrier Association at This information clearly outlines your rights and can help you make an educated decision before hiring a mover.

The BBB also recommends consumers thoroughly research prospective moving companies at before selecting one.

Published with permission from RISMedia.