Life can become incredibly stressful for anyone suffering from a stroke, the onset of dementia, or any one of the illnesses or diseases that affect the mind and our mental capacity. Those we share our life with will also feel the strain of seeing loved ones tormented by frustration and loss. There is also an almost unrealised stress that could make this situation more distressing – the block or restriction of your joint bank account.
Most people believe that if their partner loses their mental capacity, they will still be able to use their joint bank account as usual. This is not the case.
It is common practice by banks and building societies to block withdrawals if one of the account holders has become mentally incapacitated. This practice is supported by the British Bankers’ Association ensuring you will not be able to gain access to your joint account without A Lasting Power Of Attorney.
Once an account holder becomes mentally incapable, they can no longer continue to agree to the terms stated by the bank or building society and so they limit withdrawals until, if no power of attorney is in place, a deputy is appointed. This can take several months and could hinder the care of your loved ones, though living expenses, medical or care bills should be a continued service.
The process can be a drawn out and typically a wrought and desolate situation that no one should have to go through, which is why there are legalities put in place to protect you and your loved ones from ever having cope with more than they should.
While you are in good health, making a Lasting Power of Attorney could ensure that this extra stress is not an issue when you have other priorities.
If you’re concerned or would like any information on Mental Incapacity and Joint Bank accounts please call our team on 0345 894 8441 for help and advice.