Do you have a joint bank with someone who lacks mental capacity to make decisions?

It is assumed that if we have money in a joint account with our spouse, partner child or even business partners then we can still access the funds if they were to lose capacity.

Unfortunately, this is not the case and is one of the most decisive reasons for making a Lasting Power of Attorney.

As soon as a bank learns of an account holder’s incapacity they will generally freeze the account. The bank’s reason for freezing an account is because the holder, who has lost capacity, can no longer consent to funds being withdrawn by other joint account holders.

The only way the bank account, or any other property, can be managed is if that person has given a Power of Attorney. Without one an application to the Court of Protection will need to be made which is both very expensive and time consuming.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorneys. As well a financial Power of Attorney there is also a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney to deal with the medical professionals.

A Lasting Power of Attorney only comes into force if you were ever to lose capacity. It ensures that you are properly looked after by your loved ones.

It is also important to remember that losing capacity is not always a permanent condition like dementia. Losing capacity can also be temporary like following accident or illness.

If you are worried about the prospect of looking after a loved one, or perhaps worried about being looked after yourself, and want more advice regarding Powers of Attorney please contact AS Solicitors on 020 8318 4345 or email