How to remove a name from a joint bank account

There are many reasons to remove a name from a joint bank account. You may be ending a relationship with someone, striking out on your own financially or wishing to dissociate yourself from liability for another person's money mismanagement. Removing a name from a joint account can be a complicated process, but knowing what to expect before requesting the change to your bank account can make the process go smoothly.

Contact the bank that holds your joint account in person or over the phone. It can be helpful to speak with someone at your local branch who you are used to dealing with, as he may be more sensitive to your financial situation.

Explain your needs, the reason you wish to remove a name from your account and which name you wish to remove. The bank may be able to remove the name from the joint account in its system. However, many banks will not allow the removal of one name from the account due to the complexity of joint bank accounts. For example, Wells Fargo's website states that the only way to remove a name from its accounts is to close the account entirely. Many banks have similar policies.

Begin account closing procedures in the event that your bank does not allow the removal of one name from the account. This will start by informing the bank employee helping you that you wish to close the account.

Present your photo identification to the employee to prove that you have the authority to close the account and sign any closing documentation required by the bank. Any remaining balance in the account can be dispersed to you as a check or cash.

Divide the funds with the other person who was on the original account.

Open a new individual account in your own name with the same bank or another bank of your choice.

Warning

You may want to discuss the situation with the other person on the joint bank account prior to closing it in order to avoid conflict.

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About the Author

Genevieve Adams has been a freelance writer since 2007 and is also regulatory compliance analyst for a community bank in the Pacific Northwest. Her work, covering primarily finance, crafting and fashion, appears on various websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in theater from Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon.

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