Joint bank accounts are often established by individuals with the hope of creating an account with one or more of the following benefits:
probate avoidance, reduced inheritance taxes or as a convenient way to allow family member to write checks and pay bills.
Unfortunately there are numerous Medicaid/Elder Law Planning, estate planning and asset protection pitfalls that await those who have established joint accounts. Some common problems resulting from joint accounts are pointed out in this Elder Law Answers Article. Take a look at this article and be careful how you title your bank accounts!