How much money is in the account?
Does the money all belong to the deceased lady?
Does she leave any other property or house?
What is the challenge being brought by the executor?
What is the executor challenging?
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The issue here is whether any of this money in this account ever belonged to you or whether it was only this lady put the money in the account and whether you were named as a joint account holder for convenience.
You admit that the money all belongs to the deceased lady who doesn’t seem to be related to. All the money in the account belongs to the lady and none of it has been mixed with your money.
The Power of Attorney ceases on death.
You are correct that a joint account passes to the survivor on death but that is only provided there is joint money in it. If there was non-of your money in this account, then whoever was bringing the challenge will allege you are holding this lady’s money on trust for the lady and hence, it goes to her beneficiaries.
If you have never had any money in this account, then the challenge will usually succeed.
If however you have at some stage put money into the account, and provided it hasn’t all been taken out,then it isn’t possible to identify which money belonged to you and which money belonged to this lady and the challenging persons claim will fail. It is a strange legal scenario.
It comes down to whether the account has only ever had her money in or not as to whether the claim will succeed.
The legal cost of arguing this is going to be far more than £8000 if this goes to court and it might be worthwhile coming to an agreement with the executor depending on whose money was actually in the account. The executor can’t get it without your signature you can’t get it without the executors.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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There may not necessarily be any negligence on Lloyds part unless there was any suggestion that the lady would have passed away any time very soon and this money was put in the account so that you would get it in the event that she died without having to go to the trouble of writing a will.
I think perhaps they didn’t explain the ramifications of the joint account clear enough otherwise you would not need to have asked the question. But before you have a claim in negligence, you have to suffer loss.
If you are not happy with the advice that Lloyd gave you when opening the account it’s not something I would suggest that you instigated legal proceedings over you could make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if a complaint to the bank proves fruitless.
You could always let the executor take you to court over this and maintain that the only reason it was opened as a joint account was that the lady always intended you to have the money and hence, as soon as it went into the account, it was intended to be for both of your benefit. However it would depend on the view the judge took about that as to whether he believed that was the case or not.
It comes back then to the reason the account was opened in the first place: whether it was for ease of administering the ladies money or whether it was so that you would get it to avoid her having to write a will. If the bank would confirm that was the case, it could defeat the executors claim.
If you will not agree with the executor to sign any documentation necessary to release the funds, and vice versa, it would need a physical application to court and the hearing to decide the issue.
Usually, the loser would pay the winners costs.
If you can’t come to an agreement and neither of you wants to risk going to court, then the account remains frozen .