Need some sensible advice concerning bank access.

2 Months ago a neighbour of mine sustained a major stroke. He was in hospital for 5 weeks, has been moved to a nearby stroke centre for physio and convalesance.

He has some difficulty with short term memory but in all thinking aspects is compus mentus. Considerable speech difficulty but can manage a few words in bursts, vocal chords strengthening with physio. Can now stand up with assistance unable to walk long term is the professional view. Has regained strength in his left arm and hand but right arm is paralysed again long term. He is widowed, has a partner who is a professional care nurse so we can sort the house out to requirements when he is due to get home. His sons/daughter want him to flog his assets and go into full time care (eyes on the money in other words).

His live in partner has no right of access to any of his assets including his bank account. He has a very good pension which would enable her to give up work and look after him full time. The bank will not entertain any changes to his account to the extent that they have locked it (I think his kids have tried it on) until they receive a letter from him signed with his recognised signature.
He cannot sign anything because he has lost the use of his arm.
He cannot visit the bank in person for obvious reasons.

Has anybody on the forum seen this problem before and can offer advice. My guess would be to have his partner write to the bank and request a verified home visit but this could backfire putting a finance trained person in with a recovering stroke patient and effectively asking him to make a judgement call.

All genuine replies gratefully received, and for any ARRSE member who might guess who this is please button it.

Although you don't explicitly say so, it seems that the ideal solution will allow the partner (rather than the children) to administer the patient's affairs. Banks may make home visits, but will probably charge like a wounded rhino for it, and the result will only affect the bank account.

I'd suggest that the answer may be a power of attorney. Because the patient still has mental capacity, he can make the power of attorney himself, which will make the process quicker and cheaper. It is possible to register a power of attorney without a solicitor, but where finances (and grasping relatives) are concerned it's always wise to take professional advice. The registration of a lasting power of attorney for financial and property affairs costs £130 - plus the solicitor's fees, but I think that this will compare well with what a bank willl charge for a much more limited service.

It is possible for more than one person to be given the power of attorney, so that, for example, two signatures are needed for transactions.

My grandmother made a lasting power of attorney when she could no longer live at home, and before Alzheimer's took her capacity and the nursing home all her money. It made life easier for her, and the family.


Book Reviewer
I was about to suggest Power of Attorney but ViroBono beat me to it. The only thing I have to add would be that some One-Man-Band Solicitor outfits will prepare a Power of Attorney and register it for a fixed fee, including a home visit.

And not wishing to be a major downer. But. If your man's not in best of health he should probably get his Will sorted out to ensure that Partner has no problem if, unfortunately, he doesn't make a recovery. Again, some Solicitors will bundle this in with the POA for a fixed fee.

I sincerely hope he has a speedy recovery. Strokes are, to be polite, a bastard.
Thanks guys, we thought of this but it will chop his kids off. This is one of the most distressing scenarios I have been part of, I know he wants to have his partner to have control but there is no love lost between her and his family. Tragic all round. I'll talk to her tomorrow.


Book Reviewer
A good solicitor will be able to construct a very specific POA so that it only gives Partner control over day to day necessities (bank accounts, utilities etc) rather over riding control. I guess you can only hope that the kids appreciate that its a practical tool, rather than any attempt to swindle them.

Personally, I'd say keep the kids involved at every step, and be completely transparent with them. At least then they can't whinge. (Though I appreciate that may not be possible....)
Had a bit of a problem over this with my mother, (Dementia).

One thing we found is that they havee to show that they are compus mentis, (Have I spelt that right.) ie fit to sign a document in that they totally understand the ramifications etc..

If unable to do that, you are probably looking at the court of protection route, and from what you have said, that would involve the family taking charge of his affairs.

One thing, if it is found he is okay to sign off on things, then get a power of attorney made out NOW, as it can be invoked/validated on a doctor/lawyer saying that he is unfit to handle his affairs.
The power of attorney will save you having to go the court of protection route, and believe me, the f****ing hoops you have to jump through, the payments that have to be made to them etc etc, Do not go that route if you can avoid it.

If you want any more info, in that I can only give you what I have experienced, feel free to PM me.

Best of luck to you, it is not going to be easy.


Bugger, read this,started writing this, got called out to work, came back, finished it and have been beaten to it, Oh well!!!:sad:
One advantage of a POA is that specific rules can be drawn up, and the overriding laws covering them mean that any action must be for the benefit of the person concerned, and not the attorney(s). There can be more than one attorney, so the kids could be involved.

Sound advice to do a will at the same time.


Book Reviewer
is his partner known to the local branch staff where the account is actually held **as** their partner? that might go a long way to helping resolve issues (rather than speaking/corresponding with someone at a remote office) - also, your worry about the bank officer passing judgement on their condition/fitness to hold an account - not even remotely their purview afaik. certainly not just off their own bat, anyway. pm inbound.
Thank you thank you everybody. I am not directly involved with the case other than in a support role ie looking after their dogs, animals. providing a bit of free labour to make the house adjustments and both of us generally giving some moral help. I really feel for both of them as they are genuinely good people who have had a rotten bit of luck. I'll see what if any influence I can have given the clear advice on here.
Another one who was going to recommend PoA, but was too slow... can I add that the Attorney is told they are subject to review/ audit by the Court of Protection to ensure that they are doing things properly. Not an issue in my case, but could help to keep an Attorney on the straight and narrow!

Similar threads

Latest Threads