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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I registered a POA and opened a joint deposit account signed

Resolved Question:

I registered a POA and opened a joint deposit account signed by both parties at the same time. This was the easier and nil costs (i.e. codicil to will or re writing). The lady has since died suddenly and now the bank has suddenly originally said we could not have an account together !
I then said you have therefore been negligent in conducting this transaction if it should not have been allowed and now the lady has died she cannot reappraise the situation.
They have investigated and now say since both parties signed the deposit documents so that seems to mean something. The executor of the will is challenging for the funds (she is my deceased finances,who was joint executor so I believe, ex wife and we don't speak I've already had a distressing text from her daughter and do not wish to have anything to do with them) and the Lloyds Bank has just informed me I need to get a court order to proceed and the account has been frozen.
Can anyone help me with this please.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

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?

I see that you have asked for a telephone call. I will submit a telephone proposal for you

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No property or house
Don't know bank did not say
Don't know the bank did not say
only that if we could not come to an agreement the Bank would need a court order to release the funds. My point is that the lady concerned had capacity and therefore the joint account should stand as any other joint account with one party deceased the account passes over to the surviving party.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I am a widow on a low income and would like to make an offer of £30
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

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?

Please rate the service positive it’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid. It doesn’t cost you anything but helped me greatly. We can still exchange emails if you wish.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your advice.
I see what issues you raise and how you have put them makes it easier for me to understand. I still feel that Lloyds Bank were negligent in opening the joint account in the first place as the lady would had redressed her will which she obviously can not now do.
As the account has been blocked and I have no intention of speaking to the executor, could you advise what I do now as I do not wish to proceed any further and to withdraw my claim on this money but still feel very aggrieved that Lloyds Bank gave the wrong information on setting up the account in the first place.
Thank you
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

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.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for some thought provoking advice.
If the executor decides to get a court order (does that mean we actually physically go into court or she just gets a document to go into the bank to release the funds) could I end up having to pay all costs or do we pay our own.
If I decide not to proceed what do I do?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

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 .

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you very much for answering my questions. I have learned a lot.

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