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@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    SapphireDreams
    Husband died, problems with joint bank account, Help please
    • #1
    • 5th Sep 12, 9:38 PM
    Husband died, problems with joint bank account, Help please 5th Sep 12 at 9:38 PM
    My husband died suddenly a few weeks ago, he left a will naming me as executor and sole beneficiary. He left no savings or money, just personal possesions and the home we've lived in for the last twenty years or more. Money is short, I can't really afford to pay legal fees, and combined with dealing with the shock and emotional impact of his death, I'm having to deal with all the practical, legal and financial stuff. I find that still in a state of shock, I'm getting easily confused and getting stuff wrong alot, it's all making it harder, so I would appreciate advise on this problem with Lloyds, is it me being daft and getting confused and stressing over nothing, or are they somehow trying to con me into handing over controll of the estate, (really only my home), to them ?

    When he died he had a debt of approximately 2000 on a Lloyds TSB credit card, there are no savings to pay this off with.

    We also had a joint bank account with Lloyds TSB, who've been our bank for at least 20 years. All of the household bills are paid from this account mostly by direct debit.

    Today I went to Lloyds and informed them of my husbands death, and asked them to change the joint account to an account just in my name. I'm very confused, and annoyed about what happened next, and feel that they were trying to con me or be dishonest with me, so I'm hoping someone here could advise on it. This is what happened.

    They immediately mentioned the credit card debt, that surprised me, I told them there was no money left, only the family home, that I did not wish to be forced to sell that when the debt is only 2,000 and that I hoped that they might consider writing the debt off since it is so small. I also said that if they were insistent on it being paid then I would have to pay it by monthly installments. They then asked if I was getting a solicitor to deal with the estate, and I said I hadn't decided yet, they asked for death certificate, and to see the will, both of which I produced, though I thought it odd that they asked to see the will.

    The weird thing is that he photocopied the death certificate instantly with a machine in the same room, but then left the room with my husband's will giving the excuse that he needed to photocopy it! He was gone at least ten minutes, during which time I grew quite suspicious of why he'd wanted the will.

    When he returned he had a bundle of papers with him, which he shuffled around, tried to hide some pages of, and handed me one sheet saying I needed to sign it before they could change the account to a single account. My suspicions increased at this, and I insisted that I would not sign anything untill I had read it all, including the papers he had in his hands. He gave me the papers, which seemed all okay untill I got to the bit he wanted me to sign where it said something that concerned me greatly, this is the part that worries me :- 'As the deceased's legal representative I authorise Lloyds TSB to deal with the claimant named in section 2 on how the deceased's funds are to be distributed.'

    That sounds to me like I'm giving Lloyds authority to decide what is done with the house and personal possessions my husband left me. And so I refused to sign the form, and asked for explanation of this, explanation wasn't given, I felt lied to and as though I was being conned, he just kept telling me I was getting confused, and not to worry because there weren't any funds anyway. In the end he gave me the forms, suggested I seek legal advice, and then sign them if I wanted to.

    He also refused to change the joint account to just my name untill I had signed the forms, but did reassure me that all direct debits would continue to be paid, I'm still stressing over whether they will or not. So, is this just a standard form, and quite normal ? Or is there something odd with it ? I'm already really worried about funeral costs, and honestly don't want to end up paying hundreds of s in legal costs, so if anyone could advise that would be much appreciated. Thanks. I am incredibly cycnical, and suspicious even at best of times, so really I don't know, am I being a little paranoid with this, and is the form really fine to sign ? My brain just has felt like mush ever since my husband died.
Page 1
    • missindecisive
    • By missindecisive 5th Sep 12, 9:46 PM
    • 572 Posts
    • 851 Thanks
    missindecisive
    • #2
    • 5th Sep 12, 9:46 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Sep 12, 9:46 PM
    sending you a hug, and hoping someone comes along soon with an answer x
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 5th Sep 12, 10:29 PM
    • 24,851 Posts
    • 28,923 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    • #3
    • 5th Sep 12, 10:29 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Sep 12, 10:29 PM
    Welcome to MSE.

    Debts that are in sole names die with that person, debts that are linked to joint accounts AFAIK do not. If this card is linked to your joint account you will need to pay the credit card debt, but no reason why you can't pay it by installments - maybe write to them and ask them to freeze the interest.

    That authorisation sounds to me like they want to take any money in the joint account to pay the credit card debt. Open a new current account somewhere else, stop depositing money into the Lloyds current account immediately/ draw out what is there in cash. I know that sounds like hassle but another bank will transfer all your direct debits over for you. If you want to sign the rest of the form just cross out the part you don't agree with.

    Possessions are part of you husband's estate, they may need to be sold to pay for the funeral or his debts. The beneficiary generally gets what is left. There is information online about the legal responsibilities of an executor, maybe research this? http://www.willans.co.uk/files/uploads/download/Willans_guidelines_for_executors.pdf
    Last edited by Fire Fox; 05-09-2012 at 10:34 PM.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
  • Dotty1
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 12, 7:27 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 12, 7:27 AM
    Welcome to MSE.

    Debts that are in sole names die with that person, debts that are linked to joint accounts AFAIK do not. If this card is linked to your joint account you will need to pay the credit card debt, but no reason why you can't pay it by installments - maybe write to them and ask them to freeze the interest.

    That authorisation sounds to me like they want to take any money in the joint account to pay the credit card debt. Open a new current account somewhere else, stop depositing money into the Lloyds current account immediately/ draw out what is there in cash. I know that sounds like hassle but another bank will transfer all your direct debits over for you. If you want to sign the rest of the form just cross out the part you don't agree with.
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    Sorry I'm not trying to detract from the op, but are you saying that if you have a personal credit card but the payments come out of a joint account, then the other person is liable?
  • couponqueen123
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 12, 8:40 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 12, 8:40 AM
    DO NOT PUT PEN TO THAT PAPER ITS A CON THEY ARE TRYING TO GET YOU TO DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID

    if i was you id go back to the bank demand the Manager (if he on lunch tell them to get him ) just mention you like to report fraud THEY WILL GET HIM PROMPTO (i know none has been committed yet )but i would explain what happened that the guy/woman who tried to 'help' tried to get you to sighn everythign over with out explaining and just told you you were confused and also had no compassion for you (in this sensitive time ) and that you feel that youd like to report it and get some proper advice from the manager

    hope this helps but i would advise you get your 30 min fee with a solisitor
    • quietheart
    • By quietheart 6th Sep 12, 8:54 AM
    • 1,816 Posts
    • 1,923 Thanks
    quietheart
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 12, 8:54 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 12, 8:54 AM
    You poor love. So sorry your husband died suddenly.
    It's awful that the bank has treated you so badly especially when they know you are vulnerable.
    You are obviously sharper than you give yourself credit for, I'd probably have signed whatever I was told.
    Hope things get easier for you soon.
    • daska
    • By daska 6th Sep 12, 9:14 AM
    • 6,011 Posts
    • 11,915 Thanks
    daska
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 12, 9:14 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 12, 9:14 AM
    I'm very sorry for your loss. (((HUGS)))

    The way you have been treated is diabolical. Lloyds do not deserve your custom. I think the most sensible thing to do is to follow FireFox's suggestion.

    Get a list of direct debits and standing orders that are set up on the Lloyds a/c - if you have on-line banking you can get the details from that. If not just go to the counter staff and ask.

    If anyone tries to talk with you about the loan tell them that you are taking legal advice and will not talk with them about it or sign anything until you have done so. If they query why you want the list of DDs/STOs tell them it's because you want to make sure that all your husband's subscriptions are cancelled properly (which is something you should do anyway).

    Open an a/c with another bank and give the a/c number to employers/ benefits/ pension people immediately.

    Work out how much is yet to go out in direct debits and standing orders and leave that amount in the Lloyds a/c. Withdraw all the rest and move it to the new a/c. (Make sure you include enough to cover any loan payments just in case they try to take that as well.)

    The money in the joint account is YOURS. The loan, if it is in your husband's name, is hopefully not, it may depend on if/how it was secured. By limiting the amount of money in the a/c you will limit how much Lloyds can grab from from it.

    Go to the CAB and get some advice on the loan, take the loan agreement, the authorisation that Lloyds wanted you to sign and any other relevant paperwork.
    Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants - Michael Pollan
    48 down, 22 to go
    Low carb, low oxalate Primal + dairy
    From size 24 to 16 and now stuck...
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 6th Sep 12, 9:33 AM
    • 36,570 Posts
    • 47,181 Thanks
    McKneff
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 12, 9:33 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 12, 9:33 AM
    Debts in a sole name do not die with the person. They have to be paid from the estate. If there is no estate, then yes they are written off.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 6th Sep 12, 9:45 AM
    • 1,504 Posts
    • 2,185 Thanks
    pearl123
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 12, 9:45 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 12, 9:45 AM
    Firstly, I'm really sorry for your loss.

    I recommed this book - Probate Made Simple - by Andrew Komarnychyi it's got loads of letter templates in it. Really useful. You can adjust the letters to make them applicable to your position. That what I did. It also deals in simple language with various issues that you can come accoss. I used it and I did not have to pay a solicitor.

    I did not apply for a grant of representation because ourswas just a small estate therefore I was frequently was asked for a copy of the will (which I got certified from a solisitor for free) and a death certificate. So it is quite normal for companies to ask for this paperwork. (I was rather intimidated with the whole probate process but in the end I found it fairly easy)

    I agree with the other posters who say write an offer to pay of any debts. CAB would be a great help will all of this.
    Best Wishes
    Last edited by pearl123; 06-09-2012 at 9:55 AM.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 6th Sep 12, 2:30 PM
    • 24,851 Posts
    • 28,923 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    Sorry I'm not trying to detract from the op, but are you saying that if you have a personal credit card but the payments come out of a joint account, then the other person is liable?
    Originally posted by Dotty1
    I meant what I said "if the card is linked to the joint account", that is not the same as where the payments come from. Where there are joint debts both parties are liable for the full amount, loans or credit cards linked to joint accounts are joint debts, even if only one person spent the money.

    Debts in a sole name do not die with the person. They have to be paid from the estate. If there is no estate, then yes they are written off.
    Originally posted by McKneff
    Sorry my post was worded badly. I meant the remainder of the debts if there is not enough in the estate, I did later say the possessions may need to be sold to pay the debt.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • daska
    • By daska 6th Sep 12, 6:05 PM
    • 6,011 Posts
    • 11,915 Thanks
    daska
    Debts in a sole name do not die with the person. They have to be paid from the estate. If there is no estate, then yes they are written off.
    Originally posted by McKneff
    Yes, sorry, I've just re-read my post and I obviously deleted that bit while I was re-writing it hoping to make it clearer.

    SapphireDreams:
    The contents of the joint a/c do not form part of the estate, the money in there automatically passes to you, therefore Lloyds are not entitled to take that money from that a/c as it is now YOUR money. The house, if it was jointly owned (not as tenants in common) is also yours under the law of survivorship. So if there were no saving then there would be no estate other than the personal property. If you owned the property as tenants in common or he owned it outright then the house forms part of the estate.

    The loan is a different matter. It is not your loan but the debt is (probably) payable from your late husband's estate - if there is any estate to pay it with! This may depend on what name/s it was in, whether it was secured (e.g. against the house) or whether there is a clause, or possibly insurance that would cover repayment in the event of sickness or death.

    That's why you need to take the paperwork to someone who can help you work out what constitutes the estate and therefore the estate's liability is.

    Trying to get you to sign paperwork without explaining it, letting you read it or letting you get legal advice was diabolical.
    Last edited by daska; 06-09-2012 at 6:08 PM.
    Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants - Michael Pollan
    48 down, 22 to go
    Low carb, low oxalate Primal + dairy
    From size 24 to 16 and now stuck...
  • SapphireDreams
    Thanks for all the help, advice and sympathy everyone, it's really appreciated.

    I think I really will have to take legal advice, since I am completely baffled by things like whether or not I need to get probate, even googling doesn't really make it clear. My husband did indeed own the house outright, and it was solely in his name, I think he thought it would ensure that I had a home if he left it all to me, I very much don't want to sell it, and would rather find other ways to pay debts.

    I am very enclined to take everyone's advice and close the Lloyds account, I'm just a little concerned that I may find it hard to get another bank account.

    As for the credit card it was solely in his name, and I don't think it's in anyway linked to the joint account, but I'm not sure how I'd check this. And the joint account, well since my husband and I had had money problems, it is overdrawn, so to close it I'd need to pay off the overdraft first, which I think would be worth doing, I know Lloyds annoyed my husband a lot, and he often said he wanted to close the account.

    I'm wondering if I can just pay his credit card using monthly installments, I genuinely don't want the trauma of moving out of a home which is so comforting and familliar. Otherwise, rather than leave my home at a traumatic time, I'd rather take out a loan pay the debt in full, and then pay off the loan in installments. Part of the reason for that is that the house needs a ton of work doing in order to get the best price, and the other thing is I don't want to make big life changing decision when grieving.

    Once again thanks to everyone, and I'll need to read this several times to really fully take in all the advice.
    • daska
    • By daska 6th Sep 12, 6:49 PM
    • 6,011 Posts
    • 11,915 Thanks
    daska
    Oh dear! He should have taken advice on that!

    I think it's certain that you will need to get Probate if there's a house included in the estate, I think the limit is 5K at the moment and I doubt there's many places you can buy a house for that.

    So one thing you will need to do is get a probate valuation on the house - ring a local estate agent and get that underway.

    The paperwork may look scary but it's nowhere near bad enough to need a solicitor to do all the work and you'll save yourself a packet if you do it yourself. I would recommend the book: Which? Wills and Probate (2012 edition). It's somewhat Cheaper at Amazon You may be able to borrow it from the library but check how old the edition is.

    You can go to a solicitor just to get advice on specific points without giving them the whole job.

    The Probate advice line are usually very good at helping you understand the process/questions. (If you get a dud one then say a polite farewell and ring back.) 0845 30 20 900 (this is the official site - please don't get caught by the ones that want to charge you for the same help!)

    One thing you could consider, if Lloyds press for the loan to be repaid, is to offer them a nominal sum each week - making it clear that to pay it in full will require you to sell the house and make yourself homeless. I wouldn't go down the route of taking a loan in your own name if you can avoid it. But that's just gut instinct rather than informed advice.

    And of course you can always come back here and go "heeeelllp".

    Best of luck
    Last edited by daska; 06-09-2012 at 7:00 PM.
    Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants - Michael Pollan
    48 down, 22 to go
    Low carb, low oxalate Primal + dairy
    From size 24 to 16 and now stuck...
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 6th Sep 12, 7:31 PM
    • 1,504 Posts
    • 2,185 Thanks
    pearl123
    I think it is highly unlikely you'd be forced to sell your home for such as small debt.
    Have you checked to see if your husband had any payment protection on his credit card?
    Last edited by pearl123; 06-09-2012 at 7:54 PM.
    • meritaten
    • By meritaten 6th Sep 12, 8:19 PM
    • 23,092 Posts
    • 60,819 Thanks
    meritaten
    I would say if the credit card is solely in your husbands name then he/his estate is liable for the balance outstanding. your bank account may be in joint names but that does not make you liable for any debts on a credit card in OHs name. This is not on - how dare they try to make you liable for your OHs debts on credit card!

    I would do a bit of stonewalling - tell them that any outstanding debts have to be referred to the executors of the will. then open another account in another bank solely in your name. administer the will and if there is not enough in the joint bank account to pay off the debt write and tell them so. You personally, are not liable for his debts hun.
    • RAS
    • By RAS 7th Sep 12, 4:38 PM
    • 27,996 Posts
    • 48,414 Thanks
    RAS
    Because the house was solely owned by the deceased there is a substantial estate for which you need probate.

    As executor you need to get probate. As part of that, you will have to pay off the funeral costs and the debt on the credit card, owed to Lloyds.

    You do not need Lloyds to do this, you can do it all yourself. You have several montrhs, even years to do this.

    Please open a new bank account elsewhere ASAP to prevent Lloyds offsetting (legally permissible) and income you receive into thwe joint account to pay his debt.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
    • PennyForThem
    • By PennyForThem 7th Sep 12, 5:04 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 532 Thanks
    PennyForThem
    How much is the house worth? In order to make sure that his estate is under the inheritance tax limit I would get a valuation from an estate agent - just say it is for probate. You will have to pay a fee - about 50 but that way you have documentation to prove it is all as you say in the probate form.

    I don't care what people say above - the probate form isn't at first glance simple, because it is catering for all scenarios.

    But with careful reading and using a spreadsheet it is doable. You will also have to make sure the tax office is informed. You will have to complete a form from them for the tax year in which he died. I found that my local tax office which had a help the public service invaluable - they basically filled in the forms for me.
    • sleepless saver
    • By sleepless saver 9th Sep 12, 9:23 AM
    • 2,703 Posts
    • 2,429 Thanks
    sleepless saver
    Sorry for your loss, and all the problems you are having to deal with at a difficult time.

    There should not be a problem about opening a new bank account. You don't have to close the existing account to open a new account. Just choose a bank unconnected with Lloyds i.e. not Halifax or Bank of Scotland. If there are significant debt problems and you think you might be turned down for an ordinary current account you might be better with a basic bank account which all banks do have to offer.

    You might want to phone CCCS (a free service) on 0800 138 1111 about the debt problems.

    And if you haven't claimed bereavement benefits, that should be on your list too.
  • Willow_wish
    Really sorry for your loss, and I truly know how terrifying it all is at the moment as I lost my husband last year.

    I appear to have had a simple time on whole probate process and I did use a solicitor as I felt I had enough to deal with. All debts solely in his name should have been "frozen" until the estate is settled. I just called then all and the majority of companies had a specialist bereavement team who were patient and straight forward. Have you tried calling Lloyds Estate Administration Service (0845 300 1236) - these appear to offer a service (for a fee) on dealing with the admin on the account, but it may be worth just "picking their" brains on what is right and not!.

    We have always been with Nationwide and I did have to show them the death certificate and will, but they immediately transferred the account into just my name. Martyn's sole account was frozen until account was settled.

    Are you under 50 years old? If so, very highly recommend joining the Widowed and Young (WAY Foundation) where you can get the support and advise of other widows (the support I have received here has been a real life line to me!

    Wish you all the best on your journey (it won' be smooth, but you will get there!)
    • rosyw
    • By rosyw 21st Sep 12, 8:36 AM
    • 514 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    rosyw
    Firstly, I am so sorry for your loss, I do know what you are going through as I lost my husband a couple of years ago.

    Please don't let Lloyds bully you into signing anything! I had a dreadful time with them when my husband died, so I know how difficult they can be.
    I would recommend you get a solicitor to sort out probate, and get a couple of estate agent round to value the house. It needn't cost a fortune, I think I paid around 150, but it was worth it as I was also in shock from my husbands death, and didn't want any mistakes being made.
    As has already been said, money in joint accounts is NOT part of the estate, so don't let Lloyds try to take any of it, move it to another account with a different bank.
    If your husband was under pension age you can get a bereavement grant which will help with funeral costs, and you should also get bereavement benefits.
    Don't let anyone make you feel that everything has to be done NOW! make them wait until you are more able to deal with things. And most importantly, don't forget to look after yourself.
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

746Posts Today

6,933Users online

Martin's Twitter