Help please with POA problem.

In 2004 I had an Enduring Power of Attorney drawn up appointing my two sons jointly and severally. We all signed and had it witnessed and it's been with my papers at home. I didn't register it anywhere and thank goodness I didn't.

After reading a newspaper article about a journalist's nightmare problems with his mum's POA I went into my bank (NatWest) this week to discover that because my POA appoints my sons jointly and severally they can only operate my account with cheque book and have to go into the bank to withdraw cash. They can't have a debit card or withdraw cash from an ATM. Nor can they have online or telephone banking. Once the POA is registered with the bank they block my debit card, credit card, cheque book, my online a/c and so on.

I appointed my sons jointly and severally because we all live approx 60 miles apart, and their jobs require them to frequently travel abroad. The bank has these rules because of possible fraudulent use.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has had a similar problem, and how they resolved it.
fitzroy

Replies

  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    Is it possible you have been mis-informed by a member of branch staff who is not fully aware of NatWest's policies? The following link says the Attorney can have a ATM card ONLY if the POA says "jointly and severally", similarly the Attorney can have with Internet Banking ONLY if the POA says ""jointly and severally".

    Your comment that
    Once the POA is registered with the bank they block my debit card, credit card, cheque book, my online a/c and so on.
    would also appear to be wrong according to the link. You MUST be able to register the POA and confirm that the donor still has capacity for ANY of the left hand column in the link to be possible.

    I think you need to recheck with NatWest.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • BigglesBiggles Forumite
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    tacpot12, A small typo made your link disappear, this is it: http://personal.natwest.com/personal/life-moments/caring-for-vulnerable-relatives/power-of-attorney.html. It does sound either like the OP's situation hasn't been understood by the bank staff - not an uncommon situation - or there has been some breakdown in communication between them.

    And, fitzroy, you were correct not to have the EPA registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, that only happens when the donor (you) is no longer capable of running their own affairs. Only then would the bank stop your own use of the account.

    When it is just recorded (don't use the word 'register', for the reason mentioned above) with the bank, both the donor and attorney(s) are able to use the account.

    Make sure you understand the situation as explained in the link, then go back to your bank and make sure you both see things the same way. I'm sure you'll find they will.

    BTW make sure you have the original EPA back; the bank will want to see it but they should only keep a copy. EPAs are not replaceable, as they ceased to exist in 2007.
  • fitzroyfitzroy Forumite
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    Thank you for your replies. The bank gave me a form for each of my sons to complete with their current addresses, tel nos and signatures. In bold print the form stated that the bank will not issue ATM cards, online banking etc where the EPA is jointly and severally. This is in line with the journalist's experience (his bank is Santander) and what my branch told me this week. However, thank you for the link which I will look at and have a discussion with the bank.
    fitzroy
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    As you have the old style EPA, would it be worth finding out what their rules are regarding the newer LPA? and if that would do what you want it to do, hang the expense, get one of those drawn up, and shred the EPA?
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • gentlepurrgentlepurr Forumite
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    Hi, my sister and i have joint and several LPA for my father. It is the more up to date LPA as against the old EPA. I have had no problem at all with Santander allowing us to access dads account in the same way that he would have been able to do, i have set up direct debits ( for the care home) withdrawn cash from atms, use a cheque book, and online banking, so maybe this is your answer.

    As an aside, we registered the LPA with the OPG when it was first drawn up several years ago but only brought it into use about 18 months ago.

    gp xx
    "It is not uncommon for slight acquaintances to get married, but a couple really have to know each other to get divorced." - Anonymous
    :)
  • Biggles wrote: »
    And, fitzroy, you were correct not to have the EPA registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, that only happens when the donor (you) is no longer capable of running their own affairs.

    Are you sure? My POA is registered and I believe it had to be registered whilst the donor is still "able". It is called "enduring" (or whatever the new term is as I believe it changed) as it allows the Attorney to manage account for the donor immediately and after the the donor becomes unable.

    The donor would trust the Attorney to only deal on their behalf when required and that in most cases would be once the donor is unable.

    Either way the donor can retain control of their accounts whilst still allowing the Attorney(s) to deal on their behalf. I believe the two issues are seperate.
  • edited 13 July 2017 at 6:17PM
    badmemorybadmemory Forumite
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    edited 13 July 2017 at 6:17PM
    Blue_Max wrote: »


    Are you sure? My POA is registered and I believe it had to be registered whilst the donor is still "able".

    Yes, my POA is registered with the OPG, it is no good unless it is. If you wait until it is needed the process may have changed and so the paperwork would not be valid. It does not need to be shown to any banks etc until the donor becomes incapable or no longer wishes to deal with their affairs. I hold my POA, but my attorney knows where it is if need be. That is what the notes say to do.

    I held a POA for my mother. Using it I sold her house, Barclays online access, chq book, debit card for current and other accounts. Halifax online access for savings accounts - new accounts which I opened for her. Nationwide didn't allow online access as it was more difficult to monitor than they felt was right for a POA managed account, they were very good otherwise. Skipton BS good to deal with but I didn't need online access so I don't know about that.

    What I did find though is that initially you need to see the right person at the bank. It is no good chatting to the one that comes and asks you if they can help. After that it was plain sailing.
  • LintonLinton Forumite
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    Both I and my father banked with Nat West. When I became a jointly and severally EPA Attorney they set up his account so it could be managed from my NatWest login and gave me a debit card for his account.

    I think you need to have another chat with them.

    Note that with an EPA you dont register it with the OPG until the donor begins to be mentally unable to manage their affairs.
  • BigglesBiggles Forumite
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    Blue_Max wrote: »
    Are you sure? My POA is registered and I believe it had to be registered whilst the donor is still "able". It is called "enduring" (or whatever the new term is as I believe it changed) as it allows the Attorney to manage account for the donor immediately and after the the donor becomes unable.
    I'm sure that's true of EPAs but you don't seem sure whether yours is an EPA (made before 1 Oct 2007) or an LPA (made from then on).

    EPAs were valid from the moment they were signed but don't need to be registered until the donor loses (or is about to lose) mental capacity.

    LPAs are not valid at all until they are registered.

    Both can be used before and after loss of mental capacity.
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