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LPAs and Bank Accounts

24 January 2019

Lasting Powers of Attorney offer peace of mind in the event of loss of mental capacity.  This is because the person who creates the Lasting Power of Attorney (the Donor) can appoint someone they know and trust to act on their behalf in the event they are unable to do so.

If someone suffers loss of mental capacity then this will prove to be very challenging. Not only the person who suffers the loss, but also for family and friends.

The situation may not be helped by banks and other institutions who fail to appreciate the impact loss of capacity may have.  For example, some banks will choose to freeze joint accounts making life incredibly difficult for the Attorney who is often the spouse.  Alternatively, they may alter an account so that it is joint with the Attorney. This may not be appropriate due to reduced protection for the account holder. There is also a risk of assets transferring incorrectly to the Attorney if the Donor dies.

In such circumstances, banks should be encouraged to open a deputy account providing transparency and protection for both the Donor and Attorney.

Poole Alcock are a Cheshire based firm of Solicitors whose private client team specialise in planning for the future including the preparation of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney.  If you would like help or advice then please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team on telephone number 01270 613939.

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