Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • johnp392002
    • By johnp392002 10th Jul 17, 4:48 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    johnp392002
    Joint bank accounts and death
    • #1
    • 10th Jul 17, 4:48 PM
    Joint bank accounts and death 10th Jul 17 at 4:48 PM
    Hi! Sorry about the dark title but my wife and I share a joint bank account and we have been told, several times, that the account is frozen on the death of one of us. This is causing us some worry because my wife is due to go into hospital for a very serious operation and, consequently, we are considering all possibilities. Is this true about freezing of the account or not. Should the account be frozen none of the utility bills would be paid and, I presume, pensions and son would not be paid in either.

    can someone please clarify this for us.

    Thank you,

    John
Page 1
    • MrJones1
    • By MrJones1 10th Jul 17, 5:01 PM
    • 116 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    MrJones1
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 17, 5:01 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 17, 5:01 PM
    If one of the account holders die, normally the surviving account holder will have the right to manage the account. I have never heard about the account being frozen when one of the account holders die. For clarification, you should either contact your bank or read the terms of the account.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 10th Jul 17, 5:08 PM
    • 28,212 Posts
    • 71,771 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 17, 5:08 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 17, 5:08 PM
    If one of the account holders die, normally the surviving account holder will have the right to manage the account. I have never heard about the account being frozen when one of the account holders die. For clarification, you should either contact your bank or read the terms of the account.
    Originally posted by MrJones1
    johnp - If one owner dies, the whole account is owned by the survivor. There's no reason to freeze it.

    I have heard of joint accounts being frozen when one account holder became unable to manage it - in one case through being in a coma and another through dementia.

    As MrJones says, ask for clarification in writing from your bank.
    • Don80
    • By Don80 10th Jul 17, 5:31 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Don80
    • #4
    • 10th Jul 17, 5:31 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jul 17, 5:31 PM
    The only time I can think of this happening would be where there was a dispute about the money in the account (as in a divorce case). I worked for a bank a long time ago and we usually opened a new account in the survivors name and transferred the balance. We did freeze accounts where they were held in a single name. This was because often the executor had to provide instructions which could be followed as long as there was no dispute over the funds. But that was a long time ago!
    • Armchair23
    • By Armchair23 10th Jul 17, 6:04 PM
    • 620 Posts
    • 1,099 Thanks
    Armchair23
    • #5
    • 10th Jul 17, 6:04 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jul 17, 6:04 PM
    I can speak from personal experience, it didn't happen when my husband died. Obviously I can't guarantee that it will be the same for you but I'd be really surprised if that was the case. All direct debits carried on as before and in time the account became in my name only.

    If you've been 'told several times' was it by your bank or a well meaning friend ?

    I did take out a credit card in my own name when my husband was ill, I'd been a second cardholder on my husbands account for donkeys years and that DOES get cancelled on the death of the original applicant.

    My very best wishes and sincere hope that your wife will be well and home soon.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 10th Jul 17, 6:11 PM
    • 22,864 Posts
    • 13,224 Thanks
    xylophone
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 17, 6:11 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 17, 6:11 PM
    Check with your bank but under normal circumstances, a joint account comes under the sole control of the survivor when one party dies - the account is not frozen.

    The very reason that married couples often choose to have their household DDs taken fro a joint account is to lessen anxiety for the surviving spouse - such bills as water/ power /household insurance etc continue to be paid without interruption.
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 10th Jul 17, 6:27 PM
    • 5,466 Posts
    • 5,269 Thanks
    eskbanker
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 17, 6:27 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 17, 6:27 PM
    I agree with the above posts and would add that, even though this shouldn't be a concern, if it is then why not open a sole account (at the same bank) and transfer some funds across just in case?
    • stclair
    • By stclair 10th Jul 17, 7:26 PM
    • 6,372 Posts
    • 3,390 Thanks
    stclair
    • #8
    • 10th Jul 17, 7:26 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jul 17, 7:26 PM
    The survivor will inherit the account.

    Most banks have a bereavement team you could call them for clarity and piece of mind.
    I Work For the RBS Group
    However Any Opinion Given On MSE Is Strictly My Own
    • stclair
    • By stclair 10th Jul 17, 8:53 PM
    • 6,372 Posts
    • 3,390 Thanks
    stclair
    • #9
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:53 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:53 PM
    RBS / NatWest say:

    If the deceased had a joint account, we’ll transfer it to the name of the other person once we’ve seen the death certificate and completed a review of any joint facilities that may be held. We’ll also talk to you about if you’d like to open an executor account to make and receive payments on behalf of the estate. We may also be able to pay for some funeral bills from the deceased’s account.

    http://personal.rbs.co.uk/personal/life-moments/bereavement/bereavement-service.html

    Lloyds Bank say:

    Can I take money out of a joint account?

    If you are one of the named account holders then in most cases you will be able to continue withdrawing money in the normal way; we’ll let you know if you can’t. The account will be changed to the surviving account holders name and in most cases this can be completed at the branch. If it is more complicated it will be completed by our specialist bereavement unit.

    https://www.lloydsbank.com/help-guidance/customer-support/bereavement.asp#tab-row-1

    I'm pretty sure these policies will be same or similar across the banking industry.
    Last edited by stclair; 10-07-2017 at 8:57 PM.
    I Work For the RBS Group
    However Any Opinion Given On MSE Is Strictly My Own
    • Chalkius
    • By Chalkius 10th Jul 17, 10:20 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Chalkius
    I can add, Barclays rules state that joint accounts will carry on in the joint account holders name. Accounts will only be frozen if it's a sole account.
    • interest Ted
    • By interest Ted 12th Jul 17, 1:42 PM
    • 112 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    interest Ted
    The OP may be right in that some banks might freeze a joint account. But it would only be on a temporary basis. Scenario...other account holder dies, surviving account holder telephones bank to tell them. Bank have only the survivors telephone call to work on, but they do need documentary evidence before proceeding to allow the survivor to continue with the account, and as they have had 'someone', as they might see it, 'interfere' with the account, they might see fit to freeze it pending documentation. I think the ruie of thumb here is to not tell the bank until you have the death certificate in hand.

    I am not talking from experience, but only thinking of scenarios that might happen. The correct answer is to contact the bank and ask for proper clear explanation.

    Ted
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 12th Jul 17, 2:02 PM
    • 3,566 Posts
    • 3,837 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    I would be more concerned about haveing lasting powers of attorney inplace in case either or both of you ever become incapable of managing your affairs, though illness or accident.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,303Posts Today

7,239Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Shana tova umetuka - a sweet Jewish New Year to all celebrating. I won't be online the rest of t'week, as I take the time to be with family

  • Dear Steve. Please note doing a poll to ask people's opinion does not in itself imply an opinion! https://t.co/UGvWlMURxy

  • Luciana is on the advisory board of @mmhpi (we have MPs from most parties) https://t.co/n99NAxGAAQ

  • Follow Martin