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    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 6th Mar 10, 7:27 AM
    • 12,134 Posts
    • 18,762 Thanks
    zzzLazyDaisy
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 10, 7:27 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 10, 7:27 AM
    If a bank account is held in joint names, the money in the account automatically passes to the survivor when one of the account holders dies. It doesn't go through the will or intestacy, it just belongs to the remaining account holder.

    Hope this helps
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
    • CLAPTON
    • By CLAPTON 6th Mar 10, 7:33 AM
    • 41,650 Posts
    • 30,691 Thanks
    CLAPTON
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 10, 7:33 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 10, 7:33 AM
    joint a/cs become the property of the surviving person and so they can continue to use the a/c as normal.
    Although such a/cs are outside probate: for IHT purposed however, the HMRC will assume that half the balance is part of the estate and tax may be payable.
    • JamesU
    • By JamesU 6th Mar 10, 12:33 PM
    • 1,053 Posts
    • 834 Thanks
    JamesU
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 10, 12:33 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 10, 12:33 PM
    If you have a joint current/bank account and other joint savings accounts, can you tell me what happens in the event of death of one of you.

    Yes, as others have mentioned, the joint account automatically becomes the account of the surviving partner by survivorship, and the bank will authorise this switch when they receive a copy of the death certificate. No need to wait for grant of probate if the account is in joint names, but the grant of probate will be required first by the bank if the account is in the sole name of the deceased, and no access will be allowed until this is given to them. This can lead to delays in accessing funds that may be required urgently at a difficult and emotional time, so planning ahead with this understanding is a good thing. And in this case of an account in sole name, the executor then transfers the account balance to the beneficiaries according to the terms of any will, which is not neccessarily the same as transferrring the balance 100% to the surviving partner. If the surviving partner is the 100% beneficiary, it is passed on to him/her. If the surviving partner is not 100% beneficiary, e.g. in the will it states 50% to the partner and 50% to any children then it is transferred in this way.

    Does the surviving person still have access to these account?

    Depends on whether or not it is a joint or sole account as described above. I had to help with this recently and the above is how it works.

    Concerning other consequences: Yes, Clapton is spot on saying that when you apply for probate, for the HMRC reporting that has to be done at the same time, it is usually considered a 50%:50% split if the account is in joint names for calculating any IHT liability. But the real consequence of this very much depends on the beneficiaries. As above, if 100% is transferred to surviving legal partner, there is no reduction in the deceased person's transferrable IHT threshold, whereas if 50% is willed to children then 25% of the balance of account will lead to a reduction in the transferrable IHT threshold. Therefore there may be instances where this needs to be considered carefully. I cannot remember the specific details any longer, but there may be the possibility of agreed variation on this 50%:50% split in a joint account if, for example, it is shown that the surviving partner's share of the joint account was 90% etc and it could be accounted for as such. In such cases, the transferrable IHT threshold would be reduced less which could be important regarding IHT liability when the surviving partner is deceased. I am not so clear on the flexibility given by HMRC on this final point, and others on this forum with more expertise may be able clarify this point better than myself. If this is the case, it may have important implications on the the % amount of IHT threshold.that can be transferred.

    I am not a financial expert but hope the above helps based on my own experience.
    Last edited by JamesU; 28-03-2011 at 10:07 PM. Reason: old thread typo
  • hebron
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 10, 1:37 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 10, 1:37 PM
    You have all been most helpful.

    Thank you.
  • Hardupguy
    • #6
    • 28th Mar 11, 7:20 PM
    Joint accounts / Death
    • #6
    • 28th Mar 11, 7:20 PM
    Having just lost my wife, we had a joint bank account, which changed from her name only last year due to her illness. Bank have frozen account until they see will and proof of who i am,,,?
    They said that due to having a substanial amount in account this is normal...will take approx two weeks to change it to my name only, meantime all direct debits going both ways will be rejected.... Can they do this, i was under the impression that there would be no issues as long as they had evidence such as death Certificate...
    • mike88
    • By mike88 28th Mar 11, 8:06 PM
    • 553 Posts
    • 416 Thanks
    mike88
    • #7
    • 28th Mar 11, 8:06 PM
    • #7
    • 28th Mar 11, 8:06 PM
    If its a joint account you should have access to your own money. Speak to someone at the bank.
    Take my advice at your peril.
  • Hardupguy
    • #8
    • 28th Mar 11, 8:13 PM
    • #8
    • 28th Mar 11, 8:13 PM
    it was the bank that told me they would need to freeze the account today when i was at branch advising them of my wifes death.
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 28th Mar 11, 8:15 PM
    • 36,456 Posts
    • 47,002 Thanks
    McKneff
    • #9
    • 28th Mar 11, 8:15 PM
    • #9
    • 28th Mar 11, 8:15 PM
    it was the bank that told me they would need to freeze the account today when i was at branch advising them of my wifes death.
    Originally posted by Hardupguy
    Speak to someone who knows what they are talking about.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • Errata
    The bank is talking rubbish if it's a joint account. Ring them, ask for the phone number of the bank's Bereavement Centre, speak to it and ask it to give the bank a kick up the backside.
    .....................I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...
  • Hardupguy
    many thanks for the replies..meeting my lawyer tomorrow so may ask him to intervene...didn't think it was correct procedure when they told me earlier
  • Hardupguy
    seems im plagued with inept people at a time i can do without it.... another problem occurred with a pension claim if anybody can help....
    she claimed ill health retirement from scheme ( only 6 months till actual date )....they dragged their feet and asked for a medical examination to satisfy themselves of claim....she was unable to attend as bed ridden and they advised me that forms would be forwarded to allow medical staff to confirm her terminal illness...nothing has arrived afetr a few weeks and now she has passed away...
    does the claim continue from first request or will it default to simple death claim now..?
    If latter then my calculations assume her estate will have less of a payout now....rather than the increased payments she may have aquired had they processed claim with little more diligence..
    • mike88
    • By mike88 28th Mar 11, 10:17 PM
    • 553 Posts
    • 416 Thanks
    mike88
    If you have to pay your lawyer to sort out the problem of gaining access to the money in your joint account then the bank must compensate you for the cost of their incorrect advice.
    Take my advice at your peril.
    • lurkylurky
    • By lurkylurky 28th Mar 11, 10:45 PM
    • 414 Posts
    • 285 Thanks
    lurkylurky
    it was the bank that told me they would need to freeze the account today when i was at branch advising them of my wifes death.
    Originally posted by Hardupguy
    Sorry for your loss.

    You might find an e-mail to the Chief Exec of the bank will get you the right advice. Which bank is it?
    • Ifts
    • By Ifts 28th Mar 11, 11:13 PM
    • 1,819 Posts
    • 1,146 Thanks
    Ifts
    They said that due to having a substanial amount in account this is normal...will take approx two weeks to change it to my name only, meantime all direct debits going both ways will be rejected.... Can they do this, i was under the impression that there would be no issues as long as they had evidence such as death Certificate...
    Originally posted by Hardupguy
    Sometimes bank staff do make mistakes when advising customers and give out incorrect advice especially if they are new. I have been told conflicting information by different members of staff at the bank in the past.

    Try to speak to the bank manager or someone in a senior position at the bank. Failing that as Errata suggests contact the bank's Bereavement Centre.

    Hopefully they will not freeze your account and stop the direct debit payments, which will cause more problems if payments are missed.

    Surely they cant cause you this hassle at a time like this, if however they don't sort it out and freeze the account, if I was you I would move the substantial amount to another bank at the earliest opportunity for the inconvenience caused.

    I hope it was a mistake and they will sort it out for you once you have provided them with the death certificate.

    seems im plagued with inept people at a time i can do without it.... another problem occurred with a pension claim if anybody can help....
    See how it goes but you might want to start a new thread regarding this to get more advice from forum users, maybe the pensions board.
    Last edited by Ifts; 28-03-2011 at 11:35 PM.
    Never let the perfume of the premium overpower the odour of the risk
    • Newly retired
    • By Newly retired 29th Mar 11, 3:28 PM
    • 2,408 Posts
    • 2,818 Thanks
    Newly retired
    How I wish it were true that banks co-operate fully with the bereaved. Far too many experiences suggest total ineptitude, even from Bereavement centres.
    I hope that you soon get this sorted out, OP. Sorry for your loss.
  • Hardupguy
    thanks to all who replied.....spoke to lawyer he agreed with me that the info given was wrong...so as advised contacted bereavment centre of Bank, who told me that this should not have happened.. local branch were contacted and they advised that the account was not frozen, wouldn't admmit that they made a mistake, so went back to branch and asked to speak to manager...received a part apology, stating that they were technically still correct..!!! not sure what that means...account is fine now and operating as normal....took 4 tel calls and 3 visits to sort what should have been simple procedure................
    thanks once again for advice
  • hermante
    Based on the experience of my parents' friends, some advice to everyone: Always keep accounts with some money in your sole name even if the majority of your money is in a joint account, and even if you have been married for 50 years - you never know what the bank is going to do and you don't want to have no money in case something happens. If a bank doesn't know what it's doing, any activity in a joint account just before someone passes away will look suspicious to them.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 30th Mar 11, 2:28 PM
    • 23,733 Posts
    • 12,199 Thanks
    lisyloo
    they dragged their feet
    I would start a formal complaint and send any letter recorded delivery.
    How long did it take?
    I don't think you can expect these things to be instant even if in your circumstance you would obviously want it to happen quickly, you may not be the only case they are dealing with.
    Sorry for your loss.
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