23 Sep What you can do if someone takes money from a joint account
Q. My friend didn’t have an ID so she opened a joint checking and savings account with another friend. Once a $46,000 inheritance check was deposited by my friend, the other lady took out the money and removed my friend from the accounts without her knowledge. What can she do?
— Trying to help
A. We’re sorry this happened, but something doesn’t sound right.
The first thing your friend should do is go to the bank and find out why it would have taken her off the joint account, said Jerry Korey, a certified financial planner with RegentAtlantic in Morristown.
“If it was a joint account, one person can’t just remove the other without proper documentation,” Korey said. “Your friend would have had to sign over the account to the other lady.”
Korey said it’s also possible that they only opened an account in “the other lady’s” name, and your friend was an authorized party, not an owner.
“In that case, the account doesn’t actually belong to your friend at all,” he said. “Unfortunately, your friend may need to get an attorney involved to try and get the funds back, but there’s no guarantee.”
After checking with the bank, your friend should also try to file a police report at the local precinct.
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This story was originally published Sept. 23, 2019.
NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.