Legal & Financial Preparation

Bank Accounts while Terminally Ill

Once you become aware that you are terminally ill, consideration should be given to meeting with the bank or building society manager to discuss what action the bank are likely to take once death is notified. Some people put this off, creating difficulties after death.

Once death has occurred and the fact is notified to the bank or building society they may choose to prevent access to joint accounts. This comes at the very moment when the surviving spouse may need access to the funds. The bank or building society may continue paying out standing orders or indeed stop all transactions. If the balance of the joint account was low at the time of death this can cause defaults on critical payments such as the mortgage, car loan repayments etc.

If a couple only have a joint bank or building society account, the surviving spouse is advised to consider opening a separate account in their own name before the death of their partner takes place.

By opening a new account and paying all monies into that account, these funds can be used to pay into the joint account to ensure payment of the standing orders until the direct debits can be transferred to the new account.