• What is a joint account?

    Last Updated: January 12, 2017 5:06PM EST

    Betterment joint accounts enable two people to share and progress toward investment goals together. Both holders of the joint account have full access to the joint account and are able to create goals, transfer funds from the linked checking account, change allocations, and view the account.

    Two customers in a joint account have joint ownership of the assets in the account. Upon death of one of the joint account owners, the assets are transferred to the surviving account holder.

    Note: At this time goals and assets held in a personal (individual) account are displayed separately from goals and assets held in a joint account. You can switch between your joint and personal accounts by logging into your account and then selecting the account you wish to view from the “Welcome” drop down menu on the upper right.

  • How can I open a joint account?

    Last Updated: February 14, 2017 5:02PM EST

    You must first create a personal Betterment account before a joint account can be created. You do not have to fund your personal account, and you can delete it afterward without any fees or penalties. After you've created your personal account, follow the steps below to create a joint account. 

    To create a joint account:

    1. Log in to your Betterment profile
    2. ​Click "Add Goal or IRA" and choose the option to open a joint account.
    3. Follow the on-screen prompts
    4. An email invitation will be sent to the joint account holder 
     

  • Will we see our personal (individual) account goals alongside our joint account goals?

    Last Updated: September 20, 2016 9:26AM EDT

    Yes, you will see your personal (individual) account goals alongside your joint account goals. However, you will not be able to view the personal account goals of the other joint account holder. 

  • Can I have an IRA in a joint account?

    Last Updated: February 27, 2015 4:52PM EST

    No. Because IRAs are Individual Retirement Accounts they can only be held in personal (individual) Betterment accounts. 

    However, you can have BOTH a joint account and a personal account.  This will allow you to create non-IRA goals in your joint account, while keeping your IRA in your personal Betterment account.

    In the future we will be enabling moving specific non-IRA goals from your personal account to your joint account. 

  • Can I transfer money or goals from my personal Betterment account to our joint account?

    Last Updated: September 16, 2016 2:57PM EDT
    It is possible to transfer non-IRA assets from a personal account into a joint account. Simply contact us after you have created both types of accounts and we'll get you started on this process.
  • Can I have Tax Loss Harvesting+ turned on if I have a joint account?

    Last Updated: January 13, 2017 11:39AM EST

    Yes. When you enable TLH+ on your Betterment account, you'll be asked for your spouse's account information so that we can look across both your accounts for opportunities to harvest losses, while seeking to prevent wash sales in your Betterment accounts. Learn how to enable TLH+ across you and your spouse's accounts here.

    For more information on TLH+, please see our whitepaper.

     
  • Do both owners of a joint account need to approve actions taken in the account?

    Last Updated: January 24, 2017 1:50PM EST

    Most actions do not require consent from both customers. These include closing the account, deposits, withdrawals, transfers, creating new goals, allocation changes, changes to the linked checking account, and beneficiary changes. Both account holders will receive email notifications anytime a deposit, withdrawal, transfer, or allocation change occurs.

  • With whom can I create a joint account?

    Last Updated: March 28, 2015 2:38PM EDT
    Joint accounts can be created with any other Betterment customer. You do not need to be married to create a joint account together. Only two Betterment customers can be associated with a joint account. If you wish to create a joint account with someone who is not a Betterment customer, they must first open a personal (individual) Betterment account. (Remember, we never charge for a zero balance account.)
  • How can I tell who the primary account holder is for our joint account?

    Last Updated: January 15, 2015 11:47AM EST

    The account holder that opened the joint account and sent the invitation to the secondary account holder is designated as the primary account holder. To see who the primary account holder is, view your joint account settings.

  • What is the difference between a joint account and having a beneficiary?

    Last Updated: January 15, 2015 11:49AM EST

    Two customers in a joint account have joint ownership of the assets in the account. Each can transfer money, create goals, change allocations, etc. Upon death of one of the joint account owners, the assets are transferred to the surviving account holder.

    A beneficiary does not have access, control, or ownership over the account. Upon death of the account holder (or both account holders if the beneficiary is designated for a joint account), the assets are transferred to the beneficiary.

  • What types of joint accounts does Betterment support?

    Last Updated: January 15, 2015 11:50AM EST

    Betterment only supports joint accounts with rights of survivorship. This means that upon the death of either owner of the joint account, the ownership of the account goes to the surviving joint account holder. Both holders of the joint account have full access to the joint account and are able to view the account, create goals, transfer funds, and change allocations.

  • Can we transfer funds to a joint account from more than one checking account?

    Last Updated: June 16, 2016 10:30AM EDT

    No. At this time, our customers can only have one active checking account at a time linked to their joint Betterment account. Multiple linked bank accounts may be something we provide in the future.

    To change the checking account to which your joint account is linked, contact customer service at support@betterment.com.

  • How can I change the checking account linked to my joint account?

    Last Updated: October 18, 2016 5:40PM EDT
    To change your bank account, you can click your name at the top right hand corner after logging into your account, choose "Settings" and then select the "Bank Accounts" tab to get to this page.
  • Can I change the ownership of my joint account?

    Last Updated: January 25, 2017 10:50AM EST

    Betterment cannot support the ability to transfer primary ownership of a joint account. Bear in mind, however, that a joint account is legally owned by both parties associated with the account. The IRS requires only the primary accountholder be listed on tax statements.

  • What happens to funds in a joint account if I close the account?

    Last Updated: January 05, 2017 12:47PM EST
    If you close your joint account, the investments will be liquidated and the funds will be deposited into the checking account that is linked to the account. 
  • How can I close a joint account?

    Last Updated: January 05, 2017 12:55PM EST

    Either joint account holder can close the joint account.

    To do so, log in below, and select "Accounts" from the sub-header. Once to this page, you will click the three dots towards the right of the account you are looking to close. You then will be asked to answer one of your security questions:

    https://wwws.betterment.com/app/#profile

    This will withdraw all your funds directly to your linked bank account and disable your joint account. There are no trading fees or penalties for closing accounts.

    Please contact us at support@betterment.com if your decision to cancel is based on any problems you may be experiencing. If you simply need access to your funds, note that there are no fees for accounts with a $0 balance, so feel free to withdraw and keep your account open until you are ready to invest with us again.

    To transfer funds from a joint account to an existing Betterment personal account, please contact customer service at support@betterment.com

support@betterment.com
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