Power of attorney - specific question

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by redlester, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    As Michael says a new bank will take over tranfers etc. However, some banks are better (i.e. more efficient) at this. The moneysavingexpert.com boards (which I found when I was researching whether HSBC had it in for me personally, or if they treated everyone the same) have some true horror stories about what can happen if they DON'T get it right. On the whole, the former building societies seem to have their act together more - I suspect because they haven't outsourced their customer support, but even there, the record can be patchy. Much seems to depend on how complex your finances are(e.g. multiple standing orders and direct debits seem to up the likelihood that something will go wrong). Direct debits, in particular, can cause problems, because if they're not transferred correctly, you can suddenly end up with serious black marks on your credit record. What I'm trying to say is, do not assume that they'll get it right, and go merrily on your way: CHECK! 9 time out of 10 it will be fine (or maybe 99 times out of 100).

  2. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Accounts 'frozen'!!!!!

    Forget everything I said last time on this thread…:(

    I am told today (after nice advisor has done a bit more ‘ferreting’ with Head Office) that my mum’s accounts are frozen until such time I produce original EPA stamped by Court of Protection…..said document being en route to Court of Protection as we speak)…. 30-odd days to go......

    Standing orders etc will be honoured and the bank will graciously (!) receive her pension payments into her account (!) - but NO withdrawals….. not by mum, not by me….. Hang on… did mum give the bank POA???? How can they dictate what she (or me as her appointed POA) can or cannot do????? All this because I have verbally volunteered that I am intending to register EPA as protection for mum … (not to mention protection for me that I am quite happy to be ‘interrogated’ about acting in her best interests…..)

    I thought I was accountable to the Court of Protection ….. Not being ‘policed’ by a bank??????

    Apparently, had I NOT told said advisor I was applying to Court of Protection this situation would not have arisen … have I missed some obligation here? Bank blames solicitor for not advising me this would happen ????? … I blame myself for being too bloody honest as usual and trying to find a way to secure mum’s financial security alongside allowing her some independence …..

    Michael, can’t agree more - will be voting with feet - when I get over the mountain of paperwork this latest challenge presents …. Cate - surely, this ‘paying selves back’ goes against the grain of keeping the ‘donor’s money completely separate’ … ???? but the bank are now forcing me into providing cash, paying for goods etc through my own account and at some point ‘paying myself back’ ….. (wish I was in a situation I didn’t even have to think on that score….)

    Bank’s stance was ‘ if someone is incapable of managing their financial affairs, they are incapable of managing their financial affairs. Apparently, CHIP & PIN (debit cards) cannot be limited, and transactions must be honoured blah, blah…..’

    My stance, my mum is incapable of making financial judgements but, for now, can manage CHIP & PIN card at the local shop (and very, very rarely gets further than that without assistance from a trusted friend or me). Not my fault nor hers that the banks can’t accommodate restrictions on ‘CHIP & PIN’ when they can on other cards….. If I am POA surely I am accepting any risk and remain accountable - to mum and anyone else I have legal or moral obligations to?

    Frankly, what brassed me off most today was that ‘The Bank’ (who shall for now rename nameless) suggested ‘incapable’ means ‘incapable’. That to me was discriminatory ….. and took no account of my mum as an individual……

    Hmmphhh. Any thoughts appreciated.

    Many thanks, Karen, x
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Karen, I can't say I'm suprised. Unfortunately, no matter how human the people who work in a bank are, the procedures are set up in such a way that there is only one way to do anything. No flexibility at all. In the short term, can you not arrange for her pension to be paid into her building society account (if she has one)? Or would that take too long? Dealing with banks is pretty Kafka-esque if you ask me.

  4. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    The thing is Karen, the Bank has a Duty of Care to their customer - your mum. By continuing to pay her DD and SO's they ensure that all bills etc remain paid, but they do have to ensure that you are legit. Unfortunately there are people out there who would take the opportunity to rip off a relative. I am surprised that they are not making any cash available - how do they expect your mum to eat for the next 30 days? They could probably be pushed on that one, but is it worth it?

    I'd think carefully about moving the accounts once it is all sorted - might just give you extra aggravation.
    Love Helen
  5. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Oh what a nightmare. We basically ran into financial trouble (brother and me) when mum first moved into the NH. Bought her a load of new clothes because she had 'shrunk' out her entire wardrobe. Bought new sheets etc., because she likes dear old flannelette, and not the cotton provided by the NH. New bed because she wasn't going to sleep on the single "plank" that NH provided etc. etc. Removal costs of her furniture etc. etc. It was these expenses that we covered for her, then had to pay ourselves back.

    But now that's all settled, basically all we want to be able to do is:

    Pay mums NH fees via standing order
    Have her pension paid into an account (State pension only)
    Be able to access cash to buy personal stuff like toothpaste etc. and when necessary clothing etc.
    Be able to supply mum with cash for hairdressers, trips out etc.

    I also see problems when her home is sold (on the market now) and investing the money for her.

    I think the advice to vote with our feet is the best option. Will carry out some research on the 'most user friendly'.

    Thanks all for your advice.

  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #26 Margarita, Nov 18, 2006
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2006
    My bank has my EPOA for 4 years now ,

    If they did that to me I would go F%&k&&G mad , they would have to call the police for me in the bank , then that would be good because then I would be in public and I would tell everyone how they are stealing my mother, mum bank statements for a few mouths has so many correction , in that it says she taken money out of a machine and then they got it wrong and given her it back , then now over £600 has gone out from a few cash machine in my area .

    Now sure about changing bank and being easy in the UK as they would want my mother with me and taking my mother with me would be a nightmare , and she would not understand anyway what was going on , my mother attitude is oh Margaret you sort it out , just give me £50 to do my hair , yeah ok and I am over £600 down in your money , so I am going to have to pay for it and geting to Hairdresser to have a perm is another nightmare and she does not want a woman to do it at home .

    Then on top of it , she think I do not want to give her, her own money and must of forgotten that someone taken all this money out of her account , or just does not understand.
    So ok am parking this for now .

    Not a lot I can do tell the fraud people send me paperwork to claim it back , then it may not be fraud , just a mistake on the bank side .so if you see me on TV your no way because I am not droping this in how they are treating my mother account At Barclays bank who are meant to be so good, 20 years my mother been with them and this is what they do to her when she gets old .

    Ps also I have found a receipt (sp) last night that we took out £90 last mouth in a cash machine
    That they keep doing correction on the statement from one cash machine near us
    and its not on the bank statements that I got yesterday or any other one ,, something is going wrong
  7. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    I have had no trouble whatever with Barclays they have been superb and today I got a debit card in my name for her account too

    I already have full EPA access and control plus telephone and online access

    Once you have a registered EPA everything MUST be transfered out of the control of the dementia patient and into the hands of the attorneys

    If HSBC dont know the rules a complaint to the Financial ombudsman will swiftly give them a kick up the u know where
  8. Sabato

    Sabato Registered User

    Jan 18, 2006
    Halifax-bad Yorkshire Bank-good

    Phew! What a nightmare dealing with banks. It was bad enough having to cope with coming to terms with Mum's dementia and then the banks get all funny and make you feel you are in the wrong.

    Halifax Share Dealing wouldn't let me act as POA as I live overseas so in the end I took my case to the Financial Ombudsman, this meant writing on a form all the correspondance with dates etc you had with the bank and why you believed you had a case. I asked for £100 compensation.
    I won my case & can buy & sell shares on her behalf - although I can't use their share internet site which bugs me to hell.
    Also Halifax 'forgot' to send me the £100 so I contacted the Fin. Ombudsman straightaway, Halifax send me £150 cheque but spelt my name wrong so my Italian bank wouldn't accept it. In the end they transfered the £150 into my Halifax account.
    I am still trying to get online access to my Mum's Halifax saving account, but it's early days yet, only been trying for 2 months!!!!

    Yorkshire Bank a different story - appreciated the fact that I live overseas and just get put through to Chris at the branch if I have any queries. I use her credit card (PIN) & chq book although not tried in shops. Got internet access which is a great help.

    Something should be done about the banks as it causes a lot of very unnecessary stress at a time when your main concern is your loved one.
    I intend to write and complain to them as just reading your comments make me so angry.

    We are all in this together. your thoughts help me.

    regards Sabato
  9. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Sabato - did you see my post about Halifax? Even if you gain access to the online system, they use an IP locator system to detect where in the world you are, and if you're not in the UK, block access to various parts of the web-site. So if you're out of the UK, like me, you'll have problems when you get on anyway.

  10. redlester

    redlester Registered User

    Mar 29, 2006
    Well having tonight been accused of fraud by the checkout girl at Tesco, after trying to pay for mum's shopping with mum's debit card, I am definately changing banks. I might try Alliance & Leicester as my mortgage is with them.
  11. ludwig

    ludwig Registered User

    Feb 8, 2006
    I have had an EPA (unregistered) for two years for my Mum. Barclays, on her current account were excellent and I now have internet access to her account as well as my own and can monitor whats happening. It is possible that barclays were so good because the lady in the branch I dealt with was going through the same issue with her Mum so we effectively got the new internet access 'together' about 12 months ago.

    On cheques however, Barclays (and possibly the others) do not check signatures, we found this out when after registering me as authorised to sign her cheques properly, they queried a larger cheque with my signature then claimed to have 'lost' the previous paperwork. All OK now I assume but haven't signed any big cheques since.........

    I think the issue on the debit card is that your signature will not match the name on the card? I have a cash card for Mum but only use it for cash withdrawals and balance checking. Could you pay for stuff yourself then reimburse from the other account?

    I'm thinking of registering the EPA, solicitors want c£300 + VAT, look at the Court of Protection website (via google) its all very clear and you can do it yourself. Fee is £120 which you'd have to pay as well as the solicitors fee.

    Keep smiling,
  12. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    When Jan's card is renewed, I put my own signature on the back for when I use it [since Jan cannot write now anyway and would have no knowledge of what a debit card is].

    I have once been questioned by a sharp-eyed till person at Sainsbury's, and, after an explanation, they were content.

    I sign Jan's cheques with no problems.
  13. cynron

    cynron Registered User

    Sep 26, 2005
    east sussex
    court of protection

    I have just registered my husbands poa with the court of protection. i was told by my solicitor that they would charge me £200 +£120. So i looked it up on the web and did it myself. I did not find it too difficult.

    regards Cynron x x
  14. keen2108

    keen2108 Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    Yes you do need a card

    When my dad was ill I was given a debit card and a new PIN for his account. Shops should not allow you to enter a PIN when the card is not yours. It was obvious with me as he was a man if you get me but when it is a lady using a card with a ladies name then they probably wouldn't query it.

    When he died I had to return the card so the account could be sorted for probate. I wouldn't risk using someones card as it is actually fraud in the eyes of the law.
  15. redlester

    redlester Registered User

    Mar 29, 2006
    Alliance & Leicester say no problem, I can have a debit card, cheque book and internet access. They cannot understand why HSBC don't allow it! Am going in next week to set it all up. :)
  16. Sabato

    Sabato Registered User

    Jan 18, 2006
    Halifax on line

    Hi Jennifer,

    I go online to use my UK halifax account when I'm in Italy (using a UK email address) but that's another story, so will have to wait until I get access from them to see if it works ok.

    Thanks for the info.

    Nice to know you're abroad aswell as this brings it's own issues and when you go over there's so much to do. And you need to do it there and then, when all the organisations are saying next week...

    Kind regards
  17. Sabato

    Sabato Registered User

    Jan 18, 2006
    Reply from The Banking Code re EPA problems

    I wrote to the Banking Code after reading your comments. Here is their reply.
    The bottom line seems to be 'vote with your feet' but at least they may look into our problem and they did take the time to read through our comments.


    Thank you for your email. The BCSB is an independent body that polices the Banking Code and the Business Banking Code, which are voluntary codes of practice. We do not investigate individual complaints against banks and building societies, because that is the role of the Financial Ombudsman Service. The BCSB Helpline can only advise on your rights under the Banking Codes, and cannot give legal advice. Our role is a monitoring one, and we cannot step outside the terms of the Code to address other issues. Enduring Powers of Attorney are not specifically covered by the Code. They are legal documents already covered by legislation.

    The Code covers products such as current accounts and loans, and sets standards of care for banks to provide to their customers in the UK - such as the provision of regular statements, giving information about interest rates, etc. You can find a full copy of the Code on our website at www.bankingcode.org.uk

    I understand the point that you have raised, that there are differences in the ways that banks approach their duties under the relevant legislation, where attorneys have been appointed, and I'm sorry to learn of the problems that you have had in managing your mother's affairs. The Code is subject to regular review and I will pass your comments to the person who is responsible for collating customers' suggestions for changes to the Code. In recent years the Code has been strengthened in the area of "financial difficulties", where customers are experiencing financial difficulties; and it may be that the area of mental incapacity is another area to be looked at closely. The points that you have made will be noted in our records.

    There is a remedy available to you if you believe that your mother's bank has not complied with its obligations to her under the EPA legislation, or under the terms and conditions of her contract with the bank. You can make a complaint on her behalf to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). FOS can investigate complaints and can award compensation if it is found that the bank in question has acted in breach of its duty towards its customer, thereby causing a financial loss, serious inconvenience and/or distress.

    I note from the comments on the Alzheimers website that one contributor advised simply moving banks, to avoid the problems that some people have experienced. "Voting with your feet" is something that we recommend where customers are unhappy with the service provided by their banks. Section 7 of the Code stipulates that customers who decide to move their accounts to another institution should be helped by their banks in doing so, and the new account should be set up within 10 working days of the application being approved.
  18. Charlie

    Charlie Registered User

    Apr 1, 2003
    #38 Charlie, Nov 24, 2006
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2006
    EPA - Separate bank account and using dads money to help my mum

    Hi All,

    I have just read this entire thread and it makes me extremely nervous.
    We are registering an EPA for my dad.

    Mum and dad have shared accounts which is used to manage a lot of domestic affairs. However mum and dad also have two separate accounts. Dads account is where where all his pensions get paid in. This is mum and dads only income.

    Am I right in thinking that once the EPA is registered we are better off having separate accounts. If that is true, does that mean that dads income from pensions is not accessible to mum (e.g. we cannot use dads pension to help with mums living).

    My biggest worry now is that mum may need care soon. If this is the case, are we not allowed to use dads income to help support mum once the EPA is registered?

    Just to make things clear. Dad does not have funding (he is just getting below the saving threshold of 21000), and when we sell the house 50/50 split goes to mum and dad. So they are way off getting any funding as the house sale will add a substantial amount to their funds.

    Quite frankly the funding, forms and procedures are doing my head in.

  19. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Dear Charlie,

    Not much help ... but to let you know I thought I'd 'levelled out' over the last few months ... but 'doing my head in' is EXACTLY how I feel .....

    What should be something 'practical' in terms of 'caring' has proven to be a major, major emotional and time-consuming hurdle - and, I admit, has damaged my own confidence in my ability to 'care' and all it means.....

    Love, Karen, (TF), x
  20. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Charlie, I think you have at least 2 issues here.
    1) When someone goes into care, and they are marrried, 50% of their pension is considered to go to the spouse, whether there's an EPA or not.
    2) When you are operating an EPA on behalf of a donor, although the money you adminster goes to pay for their care, you may also make reasonable payments for other purposes, such as gifts. Obviously, if that person has regularly supported another person, I see no reason for that support to cease. The booklet on the guardianship site says

    "Can attorneys use my assets for themselves or others?

    They can use your assets to meet the needs of people you might have been
    expected to provide for, unless a restriction in the EPA prevents this. "


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