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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34282
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My sister and I have an EPA Mother, my father died

Customer Question

My sister and I have an EPA for our Mother, my father died 4 years ago.
My sister added herself to my Mother’s bank account some years ago, so it is now a joint account. My mother has recently lost the mental capacity to make decisions so I registered the EPA. I now wish to be added to the joint account, however the bank inform me that as it’s a joint account I need a letter from my sister stating that she gives her consent.
She is unwilling to do so. The money in the account is solely my mother’s money. I wish to access the account as I make day to day purchases for my mother and it would be far easier for me, if I were to use a bank card attached to this account, as my sister currently does. Additionally, I could also see how the account is being operated.
What course of action do I need to take to resolve this situation?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Does your mother have a Card on the Account?
Have you seen the Statements?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes my mother did have a card to the account, however she never used the card. She was only use the accoount to pay cheques and Direct debits.

No I have not seen statements. I have seen the cheque book that clearly states both my sister's married name and my mothers name.

Hope this helps.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Have you asked for copies of the statements?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good Morning Clare

No, I haven't asked for statements, however, my enquiry concerns my wishes to have my name added to the account and what steps I need to make to make this happen. Can you please advise on this aspect i.e wether this is possible and what steps I would need to take.

Many thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The fact that you hold Power of attorney does NOT entitle you to have your name added to the account - it entitles you to use her card (and her cheque book if required) in her name and on her behalf.
You are however entitled to see the statements - and to arrange for her money to be paid into a separate account under your control if you wish.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Claire.

This is just the information that I was hoping for.

The only problem I see here is that my mother will not know the PIN number attached to her card as she only every used it as a cheque guarantee card. If I approached the bank to request a new PIN number be sent to her address, even with the EPA I can’t see them doing this, as it’s a joint account. Would I be correct in this assumption?

Patrick

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
No
In fact the bank should indeed send you the PIN number for your mothers card - that is exactly what the EPA is meant to facilitate
Clare
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your clarifcation.

If I have any problems, I'll be back (starting a new question).

Excellent service, by the way.

Kind Regards

Patrick

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare

Following your advice, I appraoched the bank with the EPA and proof of ID etc.

They appraoched their law deptment, who have in effect siad that, the thrid party ( that's me) needs the wriitten consent from the able bodied account holder - that's my sister.

They avised that If I wasn't satisfied that i should have my solicitor contact their law dept. So in effect, my holding the EPA is unless.

Can you advise please

Patrick

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
That is nonsense - you stand for one of the holders of the account and are entitled to a Card and a Pin number - make a formal written complaint
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare

I decided to call the Financial ombudsman (Fo) customer helpline.

I explained the situation, their answer wasn’t encouraging. In fact they agreed with the bank, on the basis that the account is a ‘joint’ account. The bank view it this way, that as a joint account the money held with in it, is both my mother’s and my sister money. Therefore why should I have any rights to what could be my sister’s money, (the fact that it’s not her money is irrelevant).

The Fo didn’t discourage me from making a complain, only that she wanted to manage my expectations.

To add insult to injury, when my mother dies the money held within that account belongs to my sister and will not counted within the estate. I’m not so bothered about this, it’s the over seeing and management of the account while my mother is a live, that I’m concerned with.

Up the creek without a paddle !

Regards

Patrick

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I still disagree with the FO helpline.
You stand as Attorney for your mother and are entitled to any information that she is entitled to.
She is entitled to a new PIN number - and it shoudl be forwarded to her (you)
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

I called the FO again and got the same story.

However your take on the situation makes soo much more sense than the banks.

I call the Office of Guardianship, and they said that my sister should not even be on the account, much more so that she is an appointed attorney. She has contaminated the account and Must remove herself, unless she can prove she is using the account for own personal banking (which she can't). Blar, blar, and then something about interfering with my statutory rights. And if she doesn’t remove herself to give them a call.

I’m aware that this is taking your time just reading this, and as of yet nothing has been resolved, but I’m so glad I kept listening to you. We’ll see how this pans out.

Kind regards

Patrick

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Never worry about contacting me - It is always nice to hear how things move on
I hope all goes well
Clare