Upon diagnosis of a terminal illness it is a good idea that arrangements are made to speak to your bank to discuss the likely action taken upon notification of death. If this is delayed, complications can occur following the account holder’s demise.
Bank accounts and death – the very real problems
Denial of access to joint accounts, following the bank or building societies’ notification of the death of one account holders is common. This often causes problems when the surviving account holder requires access to the funds.
Depending on the balance of the joint account at the time of death defaults can arise in critical payments such as the mortgage, car loan repayments, etc. The bank or building society may continue paying out standing orders or indeed stop all transactions. And as solicitors acting as professional executors on many probate cases, we have had regular problems with even such simple issues as getting statements from high street banks in relation to bank accounts of deceased customers.
Joint accounts – the solution
It’s a good idea that the spouse of someone suffering from a terminal illness opens an individual account prior to the death of his or her partner to prevent such complications following the loss of their partner. Doing this ensures that all important transactions from the joint account can be covered through balance transfers, until direct debits can be moved to the new account.
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