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    • 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 2
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 6th Oct 17, 5:53 PM
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    badmemory
    I believe this issue is down to how much trust there is between the executors and the beneficiaries & also whether they communicate. For instance, we both had a list of accounts with the approx amounts in each. I had been POA so that part was easy (I should add here that although I had POA I kept her fully up to date with any transactions). I would then email her when I received money into my account, telling her how much & where from & how much the bank would allow me to transfer that day which I would do immediately if it had cleared.

    I then used to ring her & ask her to check her bank as I had transferred money to her & ask her to check its arrival. This was all easy because firstly we trust each other & secondly because there were no debts to come out of the woodwork. I used to keep a spreadsheet showing expected amounts, received amounts & distributed amounts & I would email that too each time.

    The problem is when a beneficiary doesn't trust the executor/s. If they don't then you can have a dozen executor's accounts & they will still think you have not given them their full share.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 6th Oct 17, 6:17 PM
    • 3,371 Posts
    • 2,734 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    I believe this issue is down to how much trust there is between the executors and the beneficiaries & also whether they communicate. For instance, we both had a list of accounts with the approx amounts in each. I had been POA so that part was easy (I should add here that although I had POA I kept her fully up to date with any transactions). I would then email her when I received money into my account, telling her how much & where from & how much the bank would allow me to transfer that day which I would do immediately if it had cleared.

    I then used to ring her & ask her to check her bank as I had transferred money to her & ask her to check its arrival. This was all easy because firstly we trust each other & secondly because there were no debts to come out of the woodwork. I used to keep a spreadsheet showing expected amounts, received amounts & distributed amounts & I would email that too each time.

    The problem is when a beneficiary doesn't trust the executor/s. If they don't then you can have a dozen executor's accounts & they will still think you have not given them their full share.
    Originally posted by badmemory
    With respect trust is not enough. Executors really should not put any estate funds in their own accounts even if it makes things more convenient. Apart from the trust aspect it can cause disaster if the executor dies. Don't do it!
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 6th Oct 17, 8:56 PM
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    getmore4less
    keeping estate finances separate is a good idea but not essential as long as it is documented that any funds belong to the estate and the administrator and or trustee is holding the funds(as legal owner) as a trustee for the beneficial interest of the estate/trust/beneficiary they do not form part of their estate should they die.

    Happens with property all the time, it gets put in the legal name of trustees.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 7th Oct 17, 5:22 AM
    • 1,051 Posts
    • 1,113 Thanks
    badmemory
    With respect trust is not enough. Executors really should not put any estate funds in their own accounts even if it makes things more convenient. Apart from the trust aspect it can cause disaster if the executor dies. Don't do it!
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Agree in principle but didn't actually have a choice - the banks refused to open one. Fortunately the longest any money stayed in my account was midnight + 1 min after receipt as it was too much to transfer in one day. Even my own share was gone by then.

    What I did find really interesting as this was when lots of people were first getting accounts closed for money laundering. I warned my sister to tell her bank that she was expecting some large sums to go through her account, we are talking transfers of £10k & £20k going through almost daily at one point. She didn't & as for what happened - absolutely nothing.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 7th Oct 17, 6:44 AM
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    Yorkshireman99
    Noted but some banks do do them. You need to ask higher up the chan of command as well.
    • timsynge
    • By timsynge 10th Oct 17, 4:00 PM
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    • 2 Thanks
    timsynge
    Thanks for your observations, all.

    It turns out that NatWest's error has proved quite helpful. I don't know if these circumstances will ever be relevant to anyone else, but here's what happened ... and the consequences.

    I had filled out the account opening form, shown my ID and signed the mandate at my local branch. As my fellow executor (yes, I do trust her!) is in a different town, NatWest said they would forward the form to her branch and ask her to go in and repeat the process. All duly occurred.

    The error, assuming NatWest told us this straight, was that someone should have set a flag to make this an executors' account and failed to do so. Therefore, it looked like a normal joint account! This is why a cheque which included the phrase "executors of" could not be paid in.

    The favourable consequence, again according to NatWest, is that we were both issued with a debit card. This is not supposed to be part of the executors' account offering. It has enabled us to:
    1 check the balance at an ATM with ease (remember, we have no online banking, so this is a real benefit); and
    2 simplify the process for making international payments (we initiated the first batch in-branch at the weekend) in that having a debit card for authorisation purposes was said to have reduced significantly the paperwork and hassle associated with international payments.

    The funny thing is that no-one has asked us for the debit cards back again! Maybe they'll just be swallowed by the ATM one day when the system flags catch up ...
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 10th Oct 17, 4:29 PM
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    Primrose
    Glad you got that sorted but it certainly flags up that banking staff are generally not up to speed with how they should be dealing with either executor accounts or Power of Attorneys operating bank accounts.


    Given that we have a rapidly ageing population and the need for these types of accounts is going to grow in comings years, this is worrying.


    My only advice is when setting these accounts up, if you appear to be dealing with junior staff, to ask that that before you leave the bank, you have a sign off with a senior manager to ensure that everything actually has been set up correctly. It will save an awful lot of hassle if a mistake in the type of account has been made by a junior member of staff if the manager can correct it on the spot, and hopefully ensure that this flags up the need for better staff training at the same time.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 11th Oct 17, 1:19 AM
    • 37,848 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    The error, assuming NatWest told us this straight, was that someone should have set a flag to make this an executors' account and failed to do so. Therefore, it looked like a normal joint account! This is why a cheque which included the phrase "executors of" could not be paid in.

    The favourable consequence, again according to NatWest, is that we were both issued with a debit card. This is not supposed to be part of the executors' account offering.
    Originally posted by timsynge
    Well, how very bizarre! I am fairly sure that we DID have debit cards with our very definitely Executors' Account - there was certainly A card because I had to use it several times in branch to establish whether or not the account had been activated, and for some parts of the online banking process.

    At least, that is my memory.

    Did they also give you some financial compensation for messing you about? As I said before, we got £50 from them ...
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