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My mother has about $15,000 she would like to leave to me and my two brothers upon the event of her death. In the meantime she would like to keep a handle on the money and invest it in a long-term growth investment vehicle (i.e. stocks).

I suggested opening a joint account between the four of us at a discount brokerage and investing the money there. I am investigating different kinds of joint accounts and it is very confusing! Here are her concerns:

1) Is it possible to have four people on a joint account
2) Will the money be split evenly among the survivors should one person on the account die
3) Who pays the taxes each year on the account (there will be small tax implications each year for dividends, and larger taxes if any stocks are sold)
4) I have seen many kinds of joint accounts: JTWROS, "intro vivo", custodial, and living trust. What are the pros and cons of each type of account?
5) She wants the three of us to get the money when she dies, and wants to avoid estate/inheritance taxes if possible, but in the meantime does not want us to have ownership of the money so that she can control it.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Tiddman
randy@blacksmith.com
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