what will happen if bank decide dad lacks capacity?

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Allypally52, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
    Good morning - happy (hopefully) Monday!
    My dad is fiercely proud of his ability to manage his finances despite gradually losing the capacity to do this accurately and safely. My husband has POA for finance and so far has been able to act on dad's behalf, carrying out his wishes in his financial affairs, sometimes after literally hours talking him through various things which would have been second nature to dad a few years ago, but which now cause mild to serious confusion.Also for some years he has spent lots of money on mail scams so his judgement is very impaired (as we now stay with him F/T we have curbed this by vetting his mail and removing the obvious scam ones, although it felt very wrong and heavy-handed at first to treat dad like this)
    My husband tries to do as dad asks as so far there's been nothing major and he's trying to choose his battles carefully - so it's things like Dad asking him to transfer money from one account to another, usually because dad says he'll need it to pay standing orders (he won't as there's always more than enough!) The bank know dad well and now know my husband and have seen how carefully and trustworthily he's been acting on dad's behalf - but the other day the customer liaison manager told my husband that the bank was concerned as on paper it looks as though they're not handling dad's money in dad's best interests, which by default also applies to my husband as POA. For example, he has far, far too much money in his current accounts earning no interest at all.The manager said that because they knew my husband was there to steer dad away from disaster they were happy to allow dad access to his accounts at the moment. To be honest, it would be much easier for us if this wasn't so and my husband could just get on with it without having to involve dad but OF COURSE we want to value dad's involvement and control as long as he's capable, albeit steered tactfully in the right direction by my husband. The other factor is that dad is obsessed with certain aspects of his life (see another post about publishing his memoirs!) one of which is finance. He waits for his bank statement every month and it becomes his daily reading matter, along with his cheque book stubs. If this was removed he would be lost and agitated beyond measure at the moment, it's bad enough if the statement is late arriving! (he's also still aware enough that we couldn't give him a new account with just a small amount to play with, as I've heard suggested on here as he would know and again there would huge upset at the moment.)
    Because of the bank's comments I just wondered what would happen if they do step in and decide dad doesn't have capacity. In some ways this would be tons better than us having to say to dad that in our opinion he lacks it. I can't begin to imagine his reaction to that - and I promise you it wouldn't be a case of us being surprised at how well he takes it, although as he declines I'm sure we'll get to that place one day.
    If you could run me through what would happen I'd be very grateful - I'm assuming they would freeze dad's own access to his money, cheque book etc and only allow my husband to carry out transactions, pay bills etc.
    Also any personal experiences of this happening with someone like my Dad. Did you survive the storm?!!
    Many thanks......
     
  2. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,035
    From what you have written I wonder if it would work if an understanding bank official would write to your father explaining the bank have 'a new account which would bring him a better return and they wanted to make him aware of this to benefit from it.'? Maybe also including that they encourage people to discuss this with a trusted friend/family member before making big decisions?

    I have a friend who is obsessed with controlling her accounts and in my experience has not been safeguarded by her bank as it appears the bank are trying to do in your situation which is encouraging to read. I struggle to assist her because of my own difficulties and get fed up with money being the constant topic of conversation.

    I wonder if the bank are legally able to say someone does not have capacity, let's face it , look at the financial state of the country not everyone is good with money but does it then follow that you lack capacity?
     
  3. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,261
    Male
    North Manchester
    The bank appear to be saying that they recognise your father's condition and that your husband is generally handling the situation well but that, given your father's condition, they have a duty of care to protect his finances and are concerned about any paper trail that may be left.


    Could some of the funds be moved to an interest bearing account with the bank, it probably won't be the best account but will be better thanleaving it in the current account?

    The Mental Health Act is confusing in that it allows mentally impaired people to make unwise decisions
    .
    As regards spam letters, cut off the bit with your father's name and address and write 'please remove from database' then put it in the supplied envelope without a stamp and post it. My experience is that this works, they pay to send out the spam and pay again for a freepost or unstamped reply which they hope contains a direct debit or similar.
     
  4. Norfolkgirl

    Norfolkgirl Account Closed

    Jul 18, 2012
    514
    Nitram, please can you signpost me to your assumption that the MHA allows "mentally impaired" people to make unwise decisions. I only thought this applies to those without any diagnosed impairment.
     
  5. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
    Thanks Sue. Actually the customer liaison manager came up to see Dad when (pre POA) he wanted my husband to be able to do simple things on his behalf, so needed to arrange a joint signatory thingy. She tried to talk to Dad then about his accounts and he seemed to 'get it' but, next day it's gone again and he's saying he might not have enough for his standing orders!!! But as he won't remember this conversation, perhaps a letter would help and unlike a conversation where there's nothing tangible, a letter is something he could read as many times as he needed to remind himself.
     
  6. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
    Hi nitram........ that is great advice about the spam mail. We've thought of that but assumed they are so insistent that the mail would still come! Will do that from now on. Even if it doesn't work it will make me feel better :)
     
  7. count2ten

    count2ten Registered User

    Dec 13, 2013
    186
    According to the Mental Capacity Act you can make unwise decisions until you lose capacity ... (then presumably someone else - social worker, doctor etc will make those unwise decisions on your behalf ... or in your best interests).
     
  8. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    270
    Depends on the type of spam mail it is. If it's fraudsters targeting old people using bought in databases or the electoral register then that approach might work.

    You might also want to investigate the Mail Preference Service and opting him out of the electoral roll open register. There's also an opt out you can do through Royal Mail which should stop some un-addressed junk mail.

    Regarding the banks, they may have a duty to protect their customer's money but once you have gone through the procedure of getting POA, they should really leave the management of that account to the attorney. With my relation, once I had POA I found over £8,000 in a dormant account earning no interest since it was put there over 10 years ago. I haven't seen any correspondence from them reminding her it might be better off somewhere else. Banks generally do whatever is best for their bottom line so I would rather they stay out of it and leave me to decide what's best for my family!
     
  9. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,035
    Exactly, I try and ask people dealing with my friend to write things down for her as these she will refer to, yes she forgets but if I point her in the direction of the bit of paper, which I know usually gets filed then it is a support when she can't remember, denies things or disagrees. It helps halt arguments when she thinks I am trying to get her to do something if someone else, e.g. Dr, optician, dentist has said the same thing because its written down and in her quieter moments she can take it in for herself and challenges her reality when her mind is not right.
     
  10. snowygirl

    snowygirl Registered User

    Jan 9, 2014
    151
    I don't think the Bank will decide if your father has lost mental capacity at this point as you already have POA they will leave that to you. When we evoked POA for both my parents they asked us to sign either that they did have capacity and we were managing their accounts together or if we wanted to declare that they lacked capacity so were taking over altogether as attorneys. We went for the latter, were able to set up a basic cardcash account for them(eventually!) and have managed the money ever since. Mum and dad had lots of money in very silly accounts earning next to nothing. The bank knew this of course bu,t as I found with other institutions, were just happily leaving the money there. Its not in their interests to suggest moving it to you. Once we were able to we moved the money and immediately tripled what interest mum and dad were earning. As you have POA I believe the bank will leave things up to you to decide to take the next step. It will be hard if your dad scrutinises everything as once you tell the bank he's lost capacity he can do nothing but the basic of things. Good luck.
     
  11. alwaysfretting

    alwaysfretting Registered User

    Jan 1, 2015
    41
    We are currently sorting out where mum has been defrauded. She still technically has capacity so we are supporting her in managing her money. She had a lot of money in her current account which made her vulnerable to scams and she didn't understand this, it made her feel more secure to have the money there. We've now transferred the bulk of it to a daily saver account. It can be accessed easily if she needs it. We've explained this to her but I don't think shed be able to cope with accessing it on her own. She's very vulnerable at the moment and we've been wondering where her money has been disappearing to.
     
  12. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
    Oh dear, what a worry this all is - dad is like your mum and thinks he needs all this money in his account to 'pay his standing orders' (he doesn't!) He's always asking my husband to get him £200 from the bank for his wallet despite there still being almost that much left in his wallet from the week before. He'll look and insist there's only about £50 in there and it's so hard to challenge him or prove him wrong. We stay with him almost fulltime now so can vet mail and phone scams. It would be much easier for us if he had his ability to deal with his money personally removed, but it would be a huge blow to dad who 'enjoys' obsessing over his bank statements daily and wondering about various ISA's and investments (but getting so muddled up in the process.) My husband is normally so patient but admitted the other day that he felt ready to throw the towel in having had another gruelling few hours trying to explain to dad that he was muddling up his tax assessment with his house insurance policy (don't ask!)
    What a worry to not know where all of your mum's money has disappeared to and also the emotional distress of knowing your mum has been abused financially by someone. My heart goes out to you. I do empathise.....I could cry when I see some of the rubbish stuff my dad has ordered from some of these scam companies (of the 'order something and you'll get your prize winnings' variety) but that is nothing like what you're dealing with. Sending an empathetic hug!
     
  13. Norfolkgirl

    Norfolkgirl Account Closed

    Jul 18, 2012
    514
    Have you reported your case to anyone yet?
     

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