Joint Bank Accounts and Lasting Powers of Attorney

There has been lots of debate recently about whether or not a Power of Attorney is relevant where clients own joint bank accounts. There is a general misconception that when one party loses capacity the party who still has capacity can still access the funds.

THIS IS INCORRECT.

The British Bankers’ Association guidance states that when dealing with a joint bank account where one party has lost capacity the bank can decide whether to temporarily restrict the account, unless/until there is Power of Attorney or deputyship in place.

Individual institutions COULD freeze an account which would be inconvenient to say the least.

WHY RISK THE POSSIBILITY?

U-PLAN’s advice (and that of the British Bankers’ Association) has always been to establlish a Power of Attorney before clients lose capacity so they are never put in a position where they cannot access their funds.

See below link to the BBA’s guidance leaflet. Please see page 9 under the heading “Dealing with a joint bank account”.

Link to the British Banker’s Association guidance

 

Get in touch with us  for more help and information.

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