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Opening Online Bank/Saving Accounts For Elderly Parent

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
26 replies 1.5K views
HUMBUGHUMBUG Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
I'm trying to figure out the best option for managing my elderly father's savings and current accounts online rather than opening branch based accounts for him (which seem to have inferior interest rates).

I've been told that I can open an online account for him but I am not allowed to manage or operate it on his behalf (even though I have 'Lasting Power Of Attorney' ). My father is registered partially sighted, 89 yrs old and doesn't have a clue about computers or internet , etc.

Would opening a joint account online be the best option with just my dads money to fund the account? Skipton BS have told me that would be fine if my father gave me permission but are there any pitfalls going down this route?
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  • eskbankereskbanker Forumite
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    HUMBUG wrote: »
    I've been told that I can open an online account for him but I am not allowed to manage or operate it on his behalf (even though I have 'Lasting Power Of Attorney' ).
    Who told you that?

    The whole point of (financial) LPA is for the attorney to manage or operate financial affairs on behalf of the donor, hence https://www.gov.uk/lasting-power-attorney-duties/property-financial-affairs:
    Looking after money and property

    You must keep the donor’s finances separate from your own, unless you’ve already got something in both of your names like a joint bank account or you own a home together.

    Managing bank accounts

    Before you can manage the donor’s account, you must show the bank the original registered lasting power of attorney (LPA) or a copy of it signed on every page by the donor, a solicitor or notary.
  • xylophonexylophone Forumite
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    (even though I have 'Lasting Power Of Attorney' ).

    Relative had PoA for his relative until her death last year and operated all accounts on her behalf after registering the PoA with the providers.

    You should be able to check PoA requirements on each provider's web site.
  • greyteam1959greyteam1959 Forumite
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    Take a your POA into the bank of your choice & explain what you want to do.
    I did this with Santander & Nationwide for my Mum & Dad & now manage all their accounts online.
  • edited 15 January 2020 at 6:58PM
    Ben8282Ben8282
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    edited 15 January 2020 at 6:58PM
    You mention his 'current accounts' plural.
    You mention them being branch based and say you want to open online accounts which offer better rates.
    I can't think of any current accounts which don't offer online banking these days. Just register his accounts for online banking. Surprised he has never done this. Online banking has been around for about 20 years or so now so the days of older people not having ever done this and being clueless about computers and the interent are well past as they would not have been particularly elderly when the internet was new and online banking was first introduced. Similarly, not sure what 'better rates' you are referring to exactly or what new current accounts you plan to open for him to get these better rates. To be honest I think you would be better leaving his banking arrangements in terms of his current accounts as they are, other than to register them for internet banking.

    With regards to savings accounts ,to some extent it depends what sort of amounts of money we are talking about here with regards to the opening of joint accounts. We could be getting into deprevation of assets territory or, by transferring the money into your joint names so that on his death the money in the accounts will become yours, attempted avoidance of inheritance tax liability, depriving other beneficieries of his will of their fair share of his money and other such things so best avoided without professional financial advice.
  • EssexExileEssexExile Forumite
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    Ben8282 wrote: »
    Online banking has been around for about 20 years or so now so the days of older people not having ever done this and being clueless about computers and the interent are well past as they would not have been particularly elderly when the internet was new and online banking was first introduced.

    Age isn't just a numbers thing. My sister has no idea about, or interest in, online banking. Computers are a strange land to some people.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
  • BooJewelsBooJewels Forumite
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    I would reiterate what has already been said - this is precisely what an LPA is for. You may need to jump through hoops with some organisations in order to get it registered on the account and you'll probably have to show the original or a certified copy (I'd recommend that the solicitor keeps the original safe and you or your father has a certified copy), plus ID for yourself.

    I manage Santander accounts for my father and just logged in to my own banking one day and his accounts were in the list alongside mine - which makes it nice and easy, for me.
  • edited 15 January 2020 at 10:05PM
    Ben8282Ben8282
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    edited 15 January 2020 at 10:05PM
    OP says his father is partially sighted but has not mentioned any loss of mental capacity.
    Perhaps until such a loss of mental capacity occurs the son should just assist his father as necessary rather than take over and change all his no doubt long standing banking arrangements.
  • BooJewelsBooJewels Forumite
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    Ben8282 wrote: »
    OP says his father is partially sighted but has not mentioned any loss of mental capacity.
    Perhaps until such a loss of mental capacity occurs the son should just assist his father as necessary rather than take over and change all his no doubt long standing banking arrangements.
    You don't need to have lost mental capacity for a Property and Financial Affairs LPA to be used to assist you in carrying out administrative tasks.
    a property and affairs LPA can be used even if the person has capacity to make the decision, unless they have stated in the LPA that they should make decisions for themselves when they have capacity to do so.

    and

    once the LPA is registered, the attorney is allowed to make all decisions about the donor’s property and affairs even if the donor still has capacity to make the decisions for themselves.
    It's only decisions under the Health and Welfare LPA that require the donor to have lost capacity to make decisions. Helping someone perform tasks that are difficult for them doesn't necessarily mean that the Attorney is making the decisions either. As my donor has gradually lost capacity, my sister and I are increasingly making decisions on his behalf, but in the early days, it was as simple as doing his shopping and paying with our cards on his account, paying bills and checking payments had been received etc.

    Helping out can be as little or as much as the donor requires, it doesn't mean taking over their affairs wholesale if that's not what they need or prefer. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. The main guiding principle is that anything done has to be in the donor's best interests.

    It would be my suggestion that the OP registers the LPA with their father's existing banks (most have guidance and forms on their web site to do this) and this will give them access to assist, as required. They then might both decide later that new banking arrangements might be in order.
  • HUMBUGHUMBUG Forumite
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    Many thanks for your replies . Here is a copy of the webchat with Skipton BS.

    15/1/2020 2:34 Welcome to Skipton Building Society
    2:34 Catherine has joined the conversation.

    Catherine @ Skipton
    2:35 Good Afternoon, You're through to Catherine. How can I help today?

    You
    2:36 Hello - I did have a previous webchat 20 mins ago but I forgot to ask a question. If I have lasting power of attorney for my elderly father , can I open up and manage an online savings account for him?

    Catherine @ Skipton
    2:37 Hi - accounts requiring an appointed attorney are not able to opened online, so this would be a no unfortunately

    You
    2:38 okay many thanks . That was the only question I needed answering

    Catherine @ Skipton
    2:38 Thank you for using our chat service today. We are excited to announce that our brand new Skipton App is now available to download through the app/play store. To learn more about the features and registration process please click on the following link : skipton.co.uk/mobileapp. We would also love to hear your thoughts on your experience today -https://skipton.researchfeedback.net/wh/s.asp?k=156698732099&ID=CH&TY=CO Thank you!
    2:38 Agent has left the conversation
    2:38 You have been disconnected from the chat
  • HUMBUGHUMBUG Forumite
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    BooJewels wrote: »
    I would reiterate what has already been said - this is precisely what an LPA is for. You may need to jump through hoops with some organisations in order to get it registered on the account and you'll probably have to show the original or a certified copy (I'd recommend that the solicitor keeps the original safe and you or your father has a certified copy), plus ID for yourself.

    I manage Santander accounts for my father and just logged in to my own banking one day and his accounts were in the list alongside mine - which makes it nice and easy, for me.

    Maybe different banks and building societies have different rules about LPA's . Looks like Skipton is a no go ! I'll ask Santander .

    Many thanks
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