Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask if you have anything in writing to confirm your aunts wishes with regards ***** ***** account please? You mention instructions that the bod could be closed with a singal signature for example?
No not in writing just that at the time of opening the bond she requested the personal advisor at the bank to arrange the bond so that I could sign on maturity to could re-invest this when it matured or close if I wished
If the account is in joint names, then it will need to be included in Annex A as a joint account however there is space on the form so you can add further notes giving an explanation as to how the account came to be joint and you can include the above information there.
The court will require evidence to support your claim to the entire proceeds of the account if it is your intention to claim it on maturity so it would be worth contacting the bank to obtain a written record of your aunts instructions to cover yourself as particularly if you are making an application for deputyship, you will not wish to present yourself as someone that is anything but 100% trustworthy with your aunts affairs and secondly because as you will likely be aware, the court applies ongoing monitoring of deputies even after a deputyship order is made so it is quite possible that your claiming of the account proceeds ma be noted in the future by a court official in a routine audit
Providing the instruction from aunt is clear and a record can be obtained from the bank, this should not cause any difficulties though.
Have I been able to help you with all your questions on the above?
Hi Joshua thanks for your reply. I feel that because all of my auntie's money and her home are going to be taken in care fees that I should just keep quiet about the bond as only myself and my auntie are aware of it, and the bank of course but they say either of us can have the money as it is in a joint account but because i have a conscience I am unable to do this so hence my question to yourself.
Sorry for the delay in reverting to you.
I note your concern. The danger would be that if the account is in joint names at the time of your application for deputyship and you subsequently claim the money from the bond as your own this could be treated as defrauding your aunt, which position could be made worse if you are at the time her deputy. This risk is made worse if you are her deputy because as above, the Court of Protection maintains active monitoring on deputies appointed by the court so deputies actions are more likely to come under scrutiny.
What may be worth investigating now before you submit your application for deputyship is contacting the bank or making an appointment to visit to confirm that they have a record of your aunts instructions that you refer to and assuming they do asking them to transfer the account into your sole name. This would simplify the position in that it would not have to be declared as a joint account on your application.
If this is not possible then at least you can ask for a copy of the record of her instructions to the bank so you can evidence that it was her intention to make a gift of the money to you which would be helpful in the event that the local authority tried to claim half the money in the future for care.
... to your original question however, if the account cannot be changed into your sole name before you make the application for deputyship, the account as a joint account should be declared on the form by rights. If you do not do so this could raise queries or problems for you at a later date which may put you in an awkward position despite your best intentions.
with regards ***** ***** aunts potential future care needs, if you are concerned with regards ***** ***** future care costs eroding her personal finances, there is an alternative you could consider rather than simply funding her care from her personal money; that is an immediate care plan. An immediate care plan is a little bit like a specialist annuity where in return for a one-off premium which is calculated by a specialist insurance company, that company return guarantees to pay out a monthly sum for the remainder of your aunt's life which can either fully cover her care needs or pay towards them. such plans are not for everyone but they have their place in that they can give certainty and peace of mind because once the one-off premium is made, your aunt will have peace of mind that I care will be paid for for the rest of her life no matter how long she spends in care. it is therefore well worth investigating whether such a plan is of interest when planning for your aunts care. You can contact a specialist financial advisor who can advise you on the above using the following link:
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?