Having a joint savings account is considered as one of the best and safest options when it comes to saving money as a couple. With a joint account, both you and your spouse will have equal access to the money, with a separate debit card and chequebook for each one of you. Although these accounts are very easy to manage, just like any other savings account, there are certain things that you need to know before you set up one with your spouse. Read on to understand everything you need to know about joint savings accounts for couples in Singapore.
What Is a Joint Savings Account?
Any savings account opened and operated in the name of at least two persons is called joint savings account. It works like any other savings account, except that it is managed by more than one individual. All the co-holders of the account have equal access to the funds and have shared responsibilities. But do note that joint accounts can be held by any two people, not just by spouses or other close family members.
Joint-All vs. Joint-Alternate Account
There are usually two types of joint savings accounts – joint-all and joint-alternate.
In case of a joint-all account, a transaction cannot be completed without authorisation and approval from all the account holders. For instance, if you have a joint-all account with your spouse, you cannot withdraw from the account without his/her approval.
In case of joint-alternate accounts, all the co-holders of the account can operate independently and have the authority to make transactions on that account without taking any approval from the other joint holders.
Remember These Things Before Opening a Joint Account in Singapore
- Each co-holder will be bound by the terms and conditions applicable to the account and will be equally responsible for the liabilities (if any).
- If your agreement has a joint and several liability clause, then in case of any liabilities, the bank can file a case against as well as the co-holder, or either one of you.
- In the event of demise of any of the co-holders, the surviving co-holder(s) will get the authority to use the funds as they like.
- If you terminate the joint account, the bank has the right to use any balance in your account towards settling down the debt that co-holders may have incurred on the joint account, even if it’s not due.
- In case any of the co-holders goes bankrupt, the bank has the right to freeze the funds in your account. Thereafter, only the person who is legally representing the bankrupt will be able to operate or close the account.
- If any co-holder issues an instruction or a notice to the bank, it will be automatically binding on all the other co-holders.
- If there is any dispute among the co-holders, the bank has the right to refuse to act on any instruction related to the account.
Some Tips to Help You Along the Way
- Monthly contribution of each co-holder: Discuss and figure out how much you and your spouse will be contributing to the account each month. Make sure both of you stick to your commitment. To figure out how much each one of you will be putting in the account, it’s important that you know your future plans. For instance, if you plan to travel to a foreign country next year, make sure you save enough amount for the trip.
- How will you use the money: It’s important that you know how you plan to use the money saved in the joint account. Whether you plan to use it for day-to-day household expenses or for buying a car in future, make sure you both are in agreement on this.
Know your responsibilities: Normally, it’s considered a good practice to have one co-holder manage the account, especially when the money is being used for daily expenses and bills. To avoid any confusion, you can also decide a threshold for using the joint account savings. If there is an expense that is above the threshold, make sure you discuss with each other before taking a decision.