There has been lots of debate recently about whether or not a Lasting Power of Attorney is relevant for people who have joint bank accounts. There is a general misconception that when one party loses capacity the party who still has capacity can still access the funds.

THIS IS INCORRECT!

The British Bankers’ Association guidance states that when dealing with a joint bank account where one party has lost capacity the bank can decide whether to temporarily restrict the account, unless/until there is Power of Attorney or deputyship in place.

As a rule banks usually do freeze the account to protect the vulnerable person and protect themselves in case of a dispute.

WHY RISK THE POSSIBILITY?

Barnet Will’s advice (and that of the British Bankers’ Association) has always been to establlish a Power of Attorney before you lose capacity so you are never put in a position where you cannot access your funds.