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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71159
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My elderly mother (89) (for whom I am full-time carer and daughter)

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My elderly mother (89) (for whom I am full-time carer and daughter) would like to write a short statement of wishes regarding her savings accounts. She has a substantial capital amount from the sale of her house, and having banked with the same Bank for 60 years would like to keep her savings with them.
The reason she feels a need to write a statement of her wishes is that my brother and his wife are putting pressure on her to change her savings to higher yielding accounts elsewhere. This is causing her stress. She understands that she may well get a higher return elsewhere but is adamant that, be that as it may, she still wants to stay with the Bank she knows. She now feels it necessary to write a statement of her wishes to this effect to stop the hassling. Does a short statement to this effect need to be witnessed, and could this person just be someone unrelated to her. Many thanks,
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Does your mother have full mental capacity?
Why will the brother and wife not simply get the message that she doesn't want to do this?
Does anyone have Power of Attorney over her affairs?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My mother has mild dementia - ie some memory loss. However she has always dealt with money matters all her life and is still canny when it comes to what she wants to do with her monies. She first stated this intent to stay with her Bank 2 years ago and she has not waivered since even though this question has raised its head again. Even if there had been any deterioration of her mental faculty during those two years (which I don't believe there has in this respect), I feel that this is even more reason to uphold her wishes then and now.

I think my brother feels she could do better (against her wishes). I am strongly opposed to this on Mum's behalf.

Power of Attorney has not been activated as it has not been deemed necessary. She is still compos mentis enough to know what she wants and doesn't want. My mother wants to write a statement to ward of any possible confrontation with my brother, which she would find stressful.

A letter of wishes is simply that. It is of no legal effect so doesn’t need to be witnessed.
However if it makes her feel better to do so, it can be done in the form of a simple letter and you can witness it if you wish.
However it is of no more effect than her simply telling her son that whilst she appreciates she may be able to get a larger return somewhere else, she wants it to stay where it is. All it does is put it down in writing.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Jo. I am sure that this will put my mother's mind at rest and I feel she wants to write something down on paper as to her wishes. My brother should just accept what she is saying, but as he is not, I think she feels that a written note just emphasizes her wishes and hopefully negates the need for any more discussion (or confrontation) which is stressful. Thank you for your help.