How to Open a Savings Account for Someone Else

by Angela M. Wheeland

A savings account is a reliable way to save for the future. Many parents open savings accounts for their children to save for big-ticket items, such as a car, home and even college. Although parents can open a savings account in their child's name without the child's permission, you typically can't open an account for just anyone. In most cases, unless you have power of attorney or the other person is your parent, you'll probably have to open a joint savings account, which will also make you liable for the account.

Collect proof of identity, including a driver's license or state ID and a Social Security card, for you and the other person you want to include on the savings account. If you don't have the other person's information, you won't be able to open the account in the other person's name.

Visit the bank where you wish to open the savings account. Consider using your personal bank. If you plan to make regular deposits into the account, you can save yourself time by transferring money between your personal account and the savings account.

Let a teller or person at the information desk know that you'd like to open a savings account for another person. The teller will connect you with someone who will help you open the account.

Discuss the situation with the personal banker. Explain your relationship with the other person. If you have power of attorney or the other person is your child or parent, the banker will most likely allow you to open the account. If not, discuss your options and decide whether or not you're comfortable opening a joint account.

Once you've decided what type of account to open, provide your proof of identity and the identity of the other person. The banker will conduct an interview and fill out an application for a new savings account.

Ask about the terms of the savings account. Some banks require a minimum balance, while others limit the number of withdrawals you can make each month. Make sure you understand the fees associated with the account before signing the paperwork.

Make the initial deposit into the account. Depending on the bank and type of savings account you open, you might be required to deposit anywhere from $1 to $1,000 into the account.

Tip

  • Some banks allow you to open a savings account online, although you'll still have to provide proof of identity and sign the required forms.

About the Author

Angela M. Wheeland specializes in topics related to taxation, technology, gaming and criminal law. She has contributed to several websites and serves as the lead content editor for a construction-related website. Wheeland holds an Associate of Arts in accounting and criminal justice. She has owned and operated her own income tax-preparation business since 2006.

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