The importance of AND / OR

Gary E. Sattler
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cash

It's a very small matter, yet an incredibly powerful one and it has come to my attention that even a few seasoned bank tellers don't fully understand the legal difference between the words and / or. It's as simple as this: when you open a joint financial account, you make the joint designation with one of those two words. The account can be in the names of John and Jane Doe, or alternatively it can read John or Jane Doe.

The word and designates co-authority over an account, whereas the word or designates that either party has independent authority over the account. This means that the and account requires the signature of both account holders when conducting business, while the or account can be utilized by either individual without the signature of the other account holder.