Most people know that a bank or building society will freeze an account if the holder becomes mentally incapable.
What people may not realise, is that it is now common practice for high street banks and building societies to also freeze withdrawals from JOINT ACCOUNTS as well if any ONE of the account holders becomes mentally incapable.
This is in line with the financial guidance issued in 2013 by the British Bankers Association. This protects the financial institutions but can be disastrous for the account holders who are BOTH left in limbo when they really need access to their money.
If the mentally incapable account holder has previously made a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, the remaining joint account holder and their attorney (who may be one and the same person) CAN continue to operate the account without any interruption.
Alternatively, if the incapable account holder did not create a Property and Financial Affairs LPA, the account will be frozen until a “Deputyship Order” has been made by the Court of Protection appointing a Deputy to make decisions on behalf of the incapable person in respect of their property and affairs.
Obtaining an Order from the Court of Protection is a very costly and cumbersome procedure which can take up to 6 months before the Order is issued. It will also need to be renewed annually. Deputyships also require annual reporting and supervision by the Court of Protection.
If joint account holders want to avoid costly delays in the event of one of them losing mental capacity, they should take steps to make and register a Property and Financial Affairs LPA. This MUST be done BEFORE mental capacity is lost.
One in three women and one in five men will face dementia. Many other medical problems may also impact the elderly, resulting in a loss of mental capacity.
By putting LPAs in place for you and your partner, YOU can choose who you want to manage your affairs when you are unable to do so for yourself.
It is important that you take advice. We have the knowledge and experience to be able to advise you of the best way to achieve this.
Just Wills & Legal Services consultants are always happy to help anyone through the (sometimes intimidating) legal process of putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place to take care of either your medical or your financial decisions (and preferably both) in case the time should come when you can’t make decisions for yourself.
If you’d like to book a FREE consultation with one of our advisors to discuss this, or any other estate planning issue, just contact us!
Call 01223 655 646 or 07930 197 432 for a FREE telephone consultation
Or, CLICK HERE to request a consultant to contact you.
We can explain on the telephone what is involved and then arrange an appointment at a convenient time if you wish to go ahead.
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