The tradition of joint bank accounts for women isnt new. In India and even globally, women have been relying on their fathers, then their husbands, and eventually their children to help them manage money. Over the last couple of decades, more millennial women and Gen Z-ers breaking away from this norm. But women still account for a significant number of joint accounts. Data from the website creditcards.com reveal that 43 per cent of couples who are married or in a civil union have joint accounts with their husbands or partners. This isnt even counting the number of women who share an account with either or both of their parents.What is a joint bank account? As the name suggests, it has more than one owner who can operate the account. All account holders usually have the same benefits and privileges including ATM withdrawals, debit card transactions, cheque transactions, and so on.Joint accounts can be of two kinds, says banker Neelima Udaykumar. In India, the most common is an Either-or-Survivor account where any one of the joint account holders can transact, deposit or withdraw funds, without the permission of the other account holder. In case one of any of the account holders death, the survivor gains and retains full control of the account. The second one is a jointly operated account. Here, the signatures and consent of both account holders are required for any transaction. Joint accounts can be held by two adult account holders, aged 18 and above. The usual rules of eligibility and documentation apply such as ID proofs with address, PAN cards, Aadhaar cards, and so on. There are separate rules for minors. Here, the parent or guardian has to submit their own documents along with that of the minor holder. Since the perks are shared, so are the liabilities. Any dispute or liability that arises will be shared and addressed equally between all the joint account holders. Any changes to the list of account holders will have to be made with the consent of all other holders.A report by the Statistics Ministry titled Women and Men in India 2022 showed that 35.23 per cent or over INR 79 crores of the total number of deposit accounts are owned by women. These women prefer private banks or regional rural banks but usually tend to put their savings wherever their families encourage them to. Money is a very sensitive topic even with the closest of family members, so before getting on board a joint account make sure you thrash out all your concerns thoroughly. What is your larger vision for the money in your bank account? Should any extras be invested into the stock market or set aside for your childs higher studies abroad? How much of this should be put into a retirement fund? What part of it goes into medical care? Goals may vary slightly, but ensure that your joint account holder has the same vision as you do for the funds you hold together. Communication and trust are the key elements to do this.Joint accounts have their pros when they are held with people that you trust, says investment and financial advisor Inder Chatterji. He lists out a few benefits:1. When you hold a joint account with your parents who are looking out for your best interests, it helps to instill a sense of financial discipline. If you feel that someone is ensuring your financial health and setting you up for the future, you tend to rise to the challenge as well and spend responsibly. As they grow older, it is much easier for children to help their parents with bill payments, medical expenses, etc even if they dont live in the same city, with the help of a joint account.2. I always feel couples should have individual accounts where they set aside some of their savings as a nest egg, as well as a joint account into which they put a certain percentage of their income. This makes it easy to meet joint expenses such as home or car EMIs, vacations, or expenses for kids. It also takes the burden off one person. If a woman doesnt have paid employment outside the house, a joint account also gives her the financial freedom that she would otherwise not enjoy.3. In an emergency, if youre travelling and your family needs to access your funds, the process of an online transfer can sometimes be tedious and also come with transaction limits. In such a scenario, a joint account can prove to be useful.Chatterji also lists a few cons of the joint account system:1. Trust is essential. If youve put a significant amount of your savings into that account, ensure that you trust the other joint account holders enough so that you dont risk losing that money. They can empty out your account with just a few withdrawals. There is no protection as they are well within their rights to do so. If you have even the slightest doubt, put only as much into a joint account as youre willing to write off.2. There is a lack of complete control over how to manage the funds in the joint account. You have at least one more person to take into consideration before you choose to use the funds as you like especially if you havent deposited them there yourself!3. Since all joint account holders will have access to bank statements, there is also a loss of privacy at some level as youre the nature and amount of your income and expenditure can be easily tracked.Joint accounts could oscillate between being convenient and scary, depending on whom you choose to partner with. The bottom-line is to make use of the benefits of a joint account, such as shared expenses, while also safeguarding your own interests with an independent account. Understand tax implications as well. Don't rush into anything; weigh your pros and cons before you decide to open a joint account, and do what feels right to you!