Personal Solicitors Ipswich – Joint bank accounts – What happens if one account holder becomes mentally incapable?

Nick Palmer Cropped

You may feel that as each account holder has unlimited access to the account, that this would continue in the event that one account holder becomes mentally incapable of administering their own finances. However, the latest guidance from the British Bankers’ Association states that if one account holder becomes mentally incapable, then the other account holder no longer has the automatic right to access that account. Instead, it is necessary to produce a registered power of attorney or, failing that, a Court Order.


Losing mental capacity can be gradual or sudden. This recent guidance from the BBA provides yet another reason for getting one’s affairs in order by making and reviewing your power of attorney. This avoids a Court of Protection application which will be more emotionally and financially distressing to a family. It is also a good way to ensure that the wishes and intentions of the person who becomes incapable are fully represented.


Nick Palmer is a solicitor specialising in Wills, trusts and tax at Barker GoteleeSolicitors in Suffolk

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