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  • FIRST POST
    • Jmog
    • By Jmog 24th Mar 16, 10:21 AM
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    Jmog
    Executor's bank account - standard joint account, or will that cause complications?
    • #1
    • 24th Mar 16, 10:21 AM
    Executor's bank account - standard joint account, or will that cause complications? 24th Mar 16 at 10:21 AM
    As co-Executor of the will of a family member who died recently, I (and the other Exec) will be opening a bank account as the deceased had several savings, bank accounts and we need to bring all this money together. HSBC offer an Executor's account - presumably named 'Executor's account for name of deceased' - but this doesn't have an online banking facility, as it's cheque book and debit card only. I presume other banks offer similar. The other Executor and I would prefer to simply open a joint current account in our own names as we will need to make some payments from the estate to the sole beneficiaries (who are under 18) over the next few years, so this will be simpler online. Having an online account will also make it simpler to be completely on top of all the funds coming in from the various accounts, and will allow us to be able to share the absolute up-to-date financial position with any interested parties (family). There are no issues regarding the will, beneficiaries, funds, planned payments, etc. at all.

    If we open a joint account, cheques being paid into it would have to be made out to myself or the other Executor. In others' experience, when receiving money from a deceased person's accounts, is this usually by cheque in the deceased person's name, cheque to 'Executive account in the name of deceased person', or can the Executors request that cheques are made out in their own name thereby meaning that we could easily pay it into the planned joint account?

    We don't want to set up a (standard) joint account to then find we can't pay any of the funds into it. We're talking amounts of £50k, £25k, £70k, so not small payments in.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated - we're complete novices at the Executor role, but like to think we're pretty sensible and organised.
Page 1
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 24th Mar 16, 10:59 AM
    • 28,630 Posts
    • 72,949 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #2
    • 24th Mar 16, 10:59 AM
    • #2
    • 24th Mar 16, 10:59 AM
    The other Executor and I would prefer to simply open a joint current account in our own names as we will need to make some payments from the estate to the sole beneficiaries (who are under 18) over the next few years, so this will be simpler online.
    Originally posted by Jmog
    You shouldn't be keeping this money in your names or an executor account. Each child's inheritance should be put in their names.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 24th Mar 16, 11:55 AM
    • 3,362 Posts
    • 2,714 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #3
    • 24th Mar 16, 11:55 AM
    • #3
    • 24th Mar 16, 11:55 AM
    As co-Executor of the will of a family member who died recently, I (and the other Exec) will be opening a bank account as the deceased had several savings, bank accounts and we need to bring all this money together. HSBC offer an Executor's account - presumably named 'Executor's account for name of deceased' - but this doesn't have an online banking facility, as it's cheque book and debit card only. I presume other banks offer similar. The other Executor and I would prefer to simply open a joint current account in our own names as we will need to make some payments from the estate to the sole beneficiaries (who are under 18) over the next few years, so this will be simpler online. Having an online account will also make it simpler to be completely on top of all the funds coming in from the various accounts, and will allow us to be able to share the absolute up-to-date financial position with any interested parties (family). There are no issues regarding the will, beneficiaries, funds, planned payments, etc. at all.

    If we open a joint account, cheques being paid into it would have to be made out to myself or the other Executor. In others' experience, when receiving money from a deceased person's accounts, is this usually by cheque in the deceased person's name, cheque to 'Executive account in the name of deceased person', or can the Executors request that cheques are made out in their own name thereby meaning that we could easily pay it into the planned joint account?

    We don't want to set up a (standard) joint account to then find we can't pay any of the funds into it. We're talking amounts of £50k, £25k, £70k, so not small payments in.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated - we're complete novices at the Executor role, but like to think we're pretty sensible and organised.
    Originally posted by Jmog
    You should not open the accounts in your own names. You need to be particularly careful with any funds left to minors. These can only be paid to trustees. I suggest you get some advice on this from a STEP qualified solicitor.
    • Jmog
    • By Jmog 24th Mar 16, 12:11 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    Jmog
    • #4
    • 24th Mar 16, 12:11 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Mar 16, 12:11 PM
    Thank you both. We are Executors and Trustees. I posted incorrectly regarding the payments we'll need to make to the under 18s (the sole beneficiaries) - it won't be over a few years, probably just a few months while probate is being sorted. They had been receiving regular 'living' expenses (pocket money) but this has now stopped as accounts are frozen, so we're trying to find a way to keep this going for now. We have some some money already - from the sale of chattels, etc. - and I was hoping we could just set up one new account to try to keep thing ordered and completely transparent, which could then become the account for the whole estate.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 24th Mar 16, 12:18 PM
    • 3,362 Posts
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #5
    • 24th Mar 16, 12:18 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Mar 16, 12:18 PM
    Thank you both. We are Executors and Trustees. I posted incorrectly regarding the payments we'll need to make to the under 18s (the sole beneficiaries) - it won't be over a few years, probably just a few months while probate is being sorted. They had been receiving regular 'living' expenses (pocket money) but this has now stopped as accounts are frozen, so we're trying to find a way to keep this going for now. We have some some money already - from the sale of chattels, etc. - and I was hoping we could just set up one new account to try to keep thing ordered and completely transparent, which could then become the account for the whole estate.
    Originally posted by Jmog
    The problem is that legally you cannot pay money from the estate to minors. It has to go into trust. That is why you really must get paid for professional advice from a trust specialist i.e. STEP qualified. They may be able to find a way to do what you propose.
    • tommytynan123
    • By tommytynan123 24th Mar 16, 12:43 PM
    • 469 Posts
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    tommytynan123
    • #6
    • 24th Mar 16, 12:43 PM
    • #6
    • 24th Mar 16, 12:43 PM
    I'm probably about 4 weeks ahead of you with probate etc. The execs are me and sister with no payments to minors. 1 other sister makes 3 beneficeries.
    Mothers current and savings accounts were with Nat West and they opened an Executors a/c in name of ''Executors of XXXXXX'' and it has on-line banking. We chose not to have a card or cheque book and it's ''one to authorise'' Any non-direct bank payments required (small amounts) will be made by me or sister, receipt obtained and reclaimed from ''Exec account''.

    Remember that some banks etc do not need probate to release the funds if under their limit. I've dealt with the Halifax whose limit is £50K and they needed Death Certificate, Will, ID etc and will then t/f direct to ''Exec account'' They stipulate that they will not pay into a third party account only an ''Execs account''
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 24th Mar 16, 5:56 PM
    • 4,592 Posts
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    brewerdave
    • #7
    • 24th Mar 16, 5:56 PM
    • #7
    • 24th Mar 16, 5:56 PM

    Remember that some banks etc do not need probate to release the funds if under their limit. I've dealt with the Halifax whose limit is £50K and they needed Death Certificate, Will, ID etc and will then t/f direct to ''Exec account'' They stipulate that they will not pay into a third party account only an ''Execs account''
    Originally posted by tommytynan123
    ...I'm a bit further down the road still,in that I've paid the outstanding bills and have collected virtually all of the various "savings" into an executors account. Several of the financial institutions stated "executors acc. or solicitor's acc only" HOWEVER, as they only had the account number and sort code I'm not sure how they ascertain that it IS an executor's account!
    In my case, the account is set up as "Mr F Bloggs exor for Mrs J Smith deceased." -cannot use internet banking and haven't got a debit card, just a cheque book and have to use the branch to organise electronic payments.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 24th Mar 16, 7:49 PM
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    Keep pedalling
    • #8
    • 24th Mar 16, 7:49 PM
    • #8
    • 24th Mar 16, 7:49 PM
    As a temporary holding account before you distribute the estate a joint BA is fine, but has been said not as a perminant home.

    If this is a small estate and the amount each child will receive is under £4,080 then the simplest solution would be to use JISA, although these need to be opened by a parent or guardian. You could put double that in if you acted fast and deposited some of it this financial year.

    Once the money is in a JISA you can basically forget it as the money can only be touched once they are 18.
    • poppystar
    • By poppystar 24th Mar 16, 7:55 PM
    • 286 Posts
    • 980 Thanks
    poppystar
    • #9
    • 24th Mar 16, 7:55 PM
    • #9
    • 24th Mar 16, 7:55 PM
    We actually managed the whole process without a separate account for the estate. Financial institutions provided forms for us to complete which showed the name of the person to whom any cheque was to be made payable and both executors then had to sign to agree to that payment (and provide identification, Probate copy and sometimes Will).

    It may have been easy for us because the Will was simple and most went to one of the executors but even so the sums involved were not small.
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 25th Mar 16, 10:08 AM
    • 4,592 Posts
    • 1,908 Thanks
    brewerdave
    We actually managed the whole process without a separate account for the estate. Financial institutions provided forms for us to complete which showed the name of the person to whom any cheque was to be made payable and both executors then had to sign to agree to that payment (and provide identification, Probate copy and sometimes Will).

    It may have been easy for us because the Will was simple and most went to one of the executors but even so the sums involved were not small.
    Originally posted by poppystar
    As I commented in an earlier thread, it's the inconsistencies which drive one to drink! One B/Soc. wouldn't release ~£100 on a simple indemnity ,they wanted Grant of probate and identity documents -but another institution paid out ~ £6k to me personally, on the sight of the death certificate and original documentation before grant of probate!!!
    • poppystar
    • By poppystar 25th Mar 16, 10:15 AM
    • 286 Posts
    • 980 Thanks
    poppystar
    As I commented in an earlier thread, it's the inconsistencies which drive one to drink! One B/Soc. wouldn't release ~£100 on a simple indemnity ,they wanted Grant of probate and identity documents -but another institution paid out ~ £6k to me personally, on the sight of the death certificate and original documentation before grant of probate!!!
    Originally posted by brewerdave

    ….and then there was the one building society who wouldn't speak to me on the phone because they had no proof I had any right to be asking about the account of the deceased - er, I was trying to get someone to tell me how and where to send that information!!
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 25th Mar 16, 10:22 AM
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    getmore4less
    The downside of a joint account is linked finances and credit records.

    If the beneficiaries are minors the trust exist automatically.
    you just need to understand what sort of trust the will has created.

    There is no legal requirement to keep the money separate just you need to keep track and that is easier in an account set up for that purpose.

    You can always have an executor account and fund another account with on-line facilities from the exec account.
    • bouncydog1
    • By bouncydog1 25th Mar 16, 5:21 PM
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    bouncydog1
    An executors account identifies the funds as belonging to a third party. If they are in an ordinary joint account there could be complications if one of the account holders was to pass away as it could be argued that the assets in the account belonged to the deceased rather than the original person who had died.

    In my experience potential inheritances bring out the worst in some people! Try Nat West as already stated - their Executor account has online access.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 25th Mar 16, 6:45 PM
    • 3,362 Posts
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    Yorkshireman99
    An executors account identifies the funds as belonging to a third party. If they are in an ordinary joint account there could be complications if one of the account holders was to pass away as it could be argued that the assets in the account belonged to the deceased rather than the original person who had died.

    In my experience potential inheritances bring out the worst in some people! Try Nat West as already stated - their Executor account has online access.
    Originally posted by bouncydog1
    Sound advice. Executors who mix their own funds with the estate's do it at their peril. Advice to the contrary is simply wrong.
    • timsynge
    • By timsynge 5th Oct 17, 2:53 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    timsynge
    Nat West executors' account
    I read this with interest. My fellow executor and I have just set up an executors' account with NatWest to collect in the deceased's savings from third party institutions. As we had obtained probate ourselves (ie without professional input), we agreed that we should *both* sign any cheque or authorise any payment from the account, really as a means of protecting ourselves.

    NatWest had originally indicated that we would be able to have online facilities and that there was a function by which one of us could set up an online payment and the other subsequently log in and authorise it. Now that we have the account, this seems not to be the case and we have decided there is no point even asking them for online banking. This means that for overseas payments we will both have to attend a branch in order to initiate/authorise any payment. So just think carefully if you opt for dual authorisation on an account.

    Secondly, and I hope this is temporary, NatWest seem to have succeeded in turning the account into an "ordinary" account. We received a cheque payable to "The Trustees of [Deceased Person]" with the account name clearly shown. NatWest are unable to pay it in because they say the account is not an executor account! Frustrating! We used the account opening form that they gave us to complete, so I cannot understand this. In their court at the moment!

    In passing, I agree with the observation about inconsistency among financial institutions. Some want proof of ID, some don't . Some send a cheque, some prefer to make a transfer. Some have one claim form and will identify linked accounts themselves, some (ahem, NS&I) require a separate and slightly different form for each account type. All in all, a voyage of discovery.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 5th Oct 17, 4:12 PM
    • 3,362 Posts
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    Yorkshireman99
    I read this with interest. My fellow executor and I have just set up an executors' account with NatWest to collect in the deceased's savings from third party institutions. As we had obtained probate ourselves (ie without professional input), we agreed that we should *both* sign any cheque or authorise any payment from the account, really as a means of protecting ourselves.

    NatWest had originally indicated that we would be able to have online facilities and that there was a function by which one of us could set up an online payment and the other subsequently log in and authorise it. Now that we have the account, this seems not to be the case and we have decided there is no point even asking them for online banking. This means that for overseas payments we will both have to attend a branch in order to initiate/authorise any payment. So just think carefully if you opt for dual authorisation on an account.

    Secondly, and I hope this is temporary, NatWest seem to have succeeded in turning the account into an "ordinary" account. We received a cheque payable to "The Trustees of [Deceased Person]" with the account name clearly shown. NatWest are unable to pay it in because they say the account is not an executor account! Frustrating! We used the account opening form that they gave us to complete, so I cannot understand this. In their court at the moment!

    In passing, I agree with the observation about inconsistency among financial institutions. Some want proof of ID, some don't . Some send a cheque, some prefer to make a transfer. Some have one claim form and will identify linked accounts themselves, some (ahem, NS&I) require a separate and slightly different form for each account type. All in all, a voyage of discovery.
    Originally posted by timsynge
    Don't be fobbed of by the lower echelons of the bank staff. Go higher up and complain firmly.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 5th Oct 17, 8:04 PM
    • 37,841 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    NatWest had originally indicated that we would be able to have online facilities and that there was a function by which one of us could set up an online payment and the other subsequently log in and authorise it. Now that we have the account, this seems not to be the case and we have decided there is no point even asking them for online banking. This means that for overseas payments we will both have to attend a branch in order to initiate/authorise any payment. So just think carefully if you opt for dual authorisation on an account.

    Secondly, and I hope this is temporary, NatWest seem to have succeeded in turning the account into an "ordinary" account. We received a cheque payable to "The Trustees of [Deceased Person]" with the account name clearly shown. NatWest are unable to pay it in because they say the account is not an executor account! Frustrating! We used the account opening form that they gave us to complete, so I cannot understand this. In their court at the moment!
    Originally posted by timsynge
    Ah yes, NatWest!

    They do offer online banking, but the 'Executors' Account' is a standard current account apart from the name, and they can be completely useless.

    However, I wouldn't rule out internet banking: OK so they don't offer the dual authority, but if you can both logon and see what's happened, how much does that really matter? (I am assuming you trust each other ...)

    Also do raise this issue of 'can't pay cheque in': I had an online chat with them about similar issues, and the difficulties we had making the account 'live' once we'd paid in the first cheques, and got £50 as a result.
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    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 5th Oct 17, 8:56 PM
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    • 1,105 Thanks
    badmemory
    Barclays, Halifax & Nationwide all told us that an executors account was unnecessary. To be honest I was a little shocked as we were talking over £200K. All banks etc paid into my personal account either with Halifax or Nationwide & I just passed on 50% to my sister. She was there & agreed to that but we were both surprised that it could be so easy. Although I am sure that the requirements are more stringent (or should be) if you have under 18s involved
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 6th Oct 17, 2:39 PM
    • 286 Posts
    • 238 Thanks
    Margot123
    I think the key thing here is to keep the estate finances separate to your own. That way, you can show clear and accurate records of all incomings and outgoings.
    Also, it's advisable to issue cheques when making payments for utitlites etc, and then to the beneficiaries.
    As long as there is a 'paper trail' you should be fine.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 6th Oct 17, 3:16 PM
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    Primrose
    I think an executors account is the way to go and as somebody else has suggested, dont be banboozled by poorly trained junior banking staff who are often quite ignorant of their own bank’s procedures for handling the probate process. Go straight to the manager and tell him/her what you want to do. Just a word of warning. in a executors account we were handling, Barclays actually closed down an executors account without notice and turned it into a dormant account because there had been no activity on it for three years. This had been due to the difficulty of tracing a beneficiary and family problems in setting up a memorial gravestone which delayed the process so if you need to have the account operational for a while before you can finally close it down, flag this up at the time.
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