My parents and I are in the throes of organizing their estate. My mom wants to make me a signer on their checking account, and possibly some of their brokerage accounts, to facilitate my exercising the financial durable power of atty if I ever need to. The bank and the brokerage say I would have to be a co-owner of the account if I want to be a signer on it. My question is:1. Is this correct? Do I really have to be considered an owner? Or am I perhaps dealing with someone at the bank/brokerage that doesn't really know?2. If I do have to be an owner, are there income tax or gift tax considerations in my becoming one?As long as you don't put any of your own money in the accounts there won't be tax consequences for anyone until one of your creditors snatches their money to pay your bill. This is a hint as to what's coming from me.Stop this DIY estate planning this instant and spend a few bucks on professional guidance! You three are bound to mess something up, and it will cost a lot more to fix it than it would have to do it right in the first place. It's kind of like the old oil filter ads. Pay me now or pay me later.Phil
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