Can your spouse access your bank account


Can your spouse access your bank account?

Can your spouse access your bank account –  Often people ask a couple of questions on whether a third party can withdraw from their bank account, at some points some argue that if anyone can pay into their bank account why can’t they withdraw?

The answer is Yes and No, a third party can withdraw from your bank account as well as cannot withdraw from your bank account under certain conditions.

However, you are not just interested in a third party other than your wife or husband.

A third party can withdraw from your account if…

A third party is anyone other than yourself and the bank, in this arrangement your spouse and any other associate whose mandate are not involved in the account opening are third party.

Significantly, such person can only withdraw on your express order through a third party check.

A third party check is a situation where you operate a checkable account with the bank, this interprets that any other person who bears such check in your order can be paid to the tune of the written amount after such order is duly confirmed to have been issued by you.

This subsists that a check cannot be drawn against all accounts, except checkable accounts.

Before you decide to issue a check, you should have a check book from which you can issue a check leave to a third party.

Can your spouse access your bank account?

Your spouse may access your account in two ways;

1. Through a third party check if and only you run a checkable account.

In this arrangement, you will have to raise a check in his/her favor, this interprets that the check bears there complete name as contained in there ID card, however, do understand that the bank can pay without ID card where you do not exceed certain thresholds.

The check-raised should contain their name, date, amount to be paid, and your appended signature at the appropriate places, where you wish to have them withdrawn without an ID card, kindly state it clearly overleaf/at the back of the check.

To understand this, kindly read my content how to use a checkbook here.

2. As signatory to the account

Your spouse can withdraw/have access to your bank account by becoming a signatory to such account at your express order, when this happens such account becomes a joint account.

By virtue of becoming a signatory, his/her mandate is included in the account instruction, in this case they can either sign single handedly or co-sign to withdraw from such account.

Kindly understand that the signature could be both to sign or either to sign according to your order.

Either to sign – Where you instruct the bank to add your spouse’s mandate as either to sign, it means that any of you can sign the withdrawal instrument for the purpose of withdrawal.

Either you sign or your spouse sign, the bank will honor a withdrawal instrument with a signature from any of you.

Both to sign – In both sign mandates, it means the bank cannot pay a withdrawal order except you and your spouse append your signatures on the withdrawal instrument, be it a check or a withdrawal slip.

Summarily, two signatures must be appended/written/

How to add your spouse as a co-signer/mandate in your bank account

1. You will need to write to the bank officially instructing your intention to add your spouse as a signatory to your bank account/ better still a joint account.

2.  Your spouse will need to submit their; clear copy of passport photograph, valid ID card which could be voters card, national ID, driver’s license or international passport, BVN, a copy of utility bill where necessary.

3. They’ll have to complete a customer information update form

Having met the above requirements and procedures, their mandate will be included in your account as a joint signatory/ you now run a joint account going forward, etc.

Frequently asked questions on can your spouse access your bank account

1. Can my spouse access my bank account if I die?

If your spouse is a co-signatory to your account before your death on an either to sign mandate, they’ll continue to access it as if you were alive since both of you have equal rights to such account.

If they are not co-signatory in this order, it becomes a challenge that can be surmounted by obtaining some legal approved documents like the Letter of Administration, read my content on how to obtain a letter of administration in Nigeria.

Having got that, kindly read my content on “Steps to access a dead person’s money in Nigeria.”

2. My husband died and I’m not on his bank account

This is a sorry situation, however, there’s a way out though requires a level stress and legal documents.

Refer to my content “Steps to access a dead person’s money in Nigeria.” You’ll learn how to go about it seamlessly.


There you have it on “Can your spouse access your bank account,” let me know if you have further challenges so I can proffer solutions.

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