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Joint account advice

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Nicolakd, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. Nicolakd

    Nicolakd New member

    Mar 20, 2018
    2
    Hi,

    My Grandma recently went into care after being diagnosed with dementia, she has a house (approx 120k)and savings (60 k) and is self funding.

    My Grandad died 15 years ago, and when he died my grandma added my Mum onto all her bank and savings accounts (she is an only child).

    We have been advised that as all savings are also in my mums name, and have been for such a long time,she is entitled to keep half of them.

    Obviously we want to ensure that everything is done correctly and we are going to make an appointment with a solicitor however just wondering if anybody has any experience or advice. I have looked through previous threads but can only find this situation where it is spouses rather than parent/ child

    Thank you
     
  2. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,740
    Yorkshire
    hello @Nicolakd
    welcome to TP
    I assume your mum was added as a name to your grandma's accounts to help your grandma manage her finances, just in case
    if your grandma still has capacity, it would be advisable to organise LPAs which give the Attorney legal authority to manage the donor's financial affairs, and to sell her house - otherwise your mum needs to apply for Deputyship
    I also assume that all the monies in the various accounts are your grandma's ie your mum hasn't paid any of her money into any of the accounts - so I don't really see the problem; all the money is your grandma's - I doubt she meant to share half of everything with her daughter
    just because your mum's name was added to the account doesn't mean she is 'entitled' to take half of her mum's money - agreed with spouses, in any financial assessment by the LA re care fees, they only take into account half of the money in any joint account as an easy way of distributing the money fairly
     
  3. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    Whoever advised you of this is well worth not listening to anymore.:rolleyes:

    If you Mum is actually a Joint Account holder and not just a signatory to the account then on death of your Grandma she would be entitled to all of the money in the account which would not pass into her estate.

    :)
     
  4. Nicolakd

    Nicolakd New member

    Mar 20, 2018
    2
    Thanks for the reply. Yes my mum is the joint account holder for all of the accounts. She also has poa. We did think the advice sounded a bit dubious, we just wanted to ensure that everything is done correctly. Like many people we have no experience with care homes and have had to rely on vague and, as it appears, incorrect advice from the local authority.

    Thanks again for the response.
     
  5. ITBookworm

    ITBookworm Registered User

    Oct 26, 2011
    451
    Glasgow
    I think the problem here is the difference between the legal situation and "moral" situation for want of a better word.

    If your Mum has been a full joint account holder with your Grandma for 15 years or so then legally at that time your Mum became joint "owner" of that money - whether Grandma quite intended that or not. That is true whether Mum contributed anything to the funds or not. That is why you have been (correctly) advised that half of the money in the accounts is classed as Mum's (while Grandma is alive) and all the remaining balance in the accounts would come to her on Grandma's death as mentioned above.

    The other part of the situation is that Mum has to decide whether she wants to take that line or whether she takes the position that Grandma only added her to the accounts for convenience and actually she herself considers the funds to belong to Grandma 100% (even although legally that isn't the case).

    Hope that explains things a bit more clearly.
     
  6. snorkmaiden

    snorkmaiden Registered User

    Mar 8, 2014
    26
    Surrey
    I’m not sure this is altogether correct. I was joint account holder with my Father for 6 years before he passed. Yes, I inherited the account (which prevented it being frozen) but not the contents! I had to provide documented evidence to HRMC of what within the account was mine. It ended up with the whole account balance belonging to Dads’ estate, including my 1200 quid because I couldn’t prove I owned it. There was inheritance tax to pay on Dads estate so I don’t know if that made things tougher.
     
  7. ITBookworm

    ITBookworm Registered User

    Oct 26, 2011
    451
    Glasgow
    Hi snorkmaiden, I've not heard about sort of problem :eek:

    I know when I got married I added my new hubby onto my account and he added me onto his. The bank didn't actually care that the reason was we were now married (in fact there were adverts not that long ago suggesting the people sharing flats, for example, could benefit from a joint account). They have treated us ever since as if I indicated - that we have full joint ownership of any funds. Either of us could withdraw 100% and the bank wouldn't care in the slightest. Given the terms and conditions you sign when the extra person is added I can't even see the police saying one person stole funds even if that is in effect what they did.

    I do agree that HMRC can be a law unto themselves when trying to sort this sort of thing out though!

    The only other thing I have heard of is what appears to be called a "3rd party mandate" where you can get added as a signatory onto an account but even the bank doesn't consider you to actually own the funds. I don't know the details of how that works because I have never used it.
     
  8. snorkmaiden

    snorkmaiden Registered User

    Mar 8, 2014
    26
    Surrey
    Hi ITBookworm
    Your advice is correct where spouses and legal partners hold joint private accounts, the rules are clear, but when relationships are other than that it can be a whole can of worms when things go pear shaped.The OP was asking about mother/daughter joint accounts, my situation was a father/daughter one and it can end up being far more complicated than it originally seemed. It’s also much harder to find clear information and guidance! I don’t know how local authorities assess such accounts for their financial assessments but the tax man certainly has a very long hard look after one party passes on!
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,881
    Female
    South coast
    @Nicolakd - Has this query come about after a financial assessment by the Local Authority?

    If so, then I suspect that what you have been advised about is the way that LAs assess how much someone has in assets. The LA assesses someones assets as being half of any joint accounts , but I am not sure that this necessarily means that the other half of the money is legally yours, it just means that they are not counting it as part of your Mums assets for the purpose of working out her contributions.
     

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