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PLEASE HELP: Bank denying access to joint account. Need to pay for healthcare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zephyrhills, FL |

I need help big time. A couple of months ago my elderly mother and I went into the bank so she could put my name as joint on her small checking account. She was just starting to get sick and the plan was I would use the money to pay medical expenses when needed. Now she is really sick, she was in the hospital and now rehab. I want to bring her home and I went to the bank yesterday to withdraw some money to buy a bed pan, walker, oximeter etc. The bank said I am not on account. I said excuse me, I showed them new signature card that my mom signed that day to add me. They said change was never processed because the signature didn't match. They said my Mom would have to come back in and redo change infront of branch manager. I was floored. Please help me, how can this be right?

My mother's health has declined rapidly and she is unable to make any changes again at least for the time being. I have many documents that my mom has signed with the same signature. What should I do? I am so frustrated and it is such an emotional and difficult time. I never expected this at all. A signature can change as someone's health declines, some people sign as best as they can...a line, an x, I thought as long as this was done in person, it would not result in such issues??

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

If it were a couple of months ago, the bank employee who processed the application might remember you and your mother. If that is the case, the employee can verify to the manager that your mother signed the request to change the account information. If you have no luck, your best bet would be to take your mother's check book to your mother and have her write checks to you. If the signature cards don't match, the bank won't process the application.

Asker

Posted

I added details

Posted

If your Mom is not capable of changing her account, I hope you have a power of attorney which would allow access to the account. If you don't have a power of attorney, you may have to file a guardianship proceeding so that someone can be appointed guardian and use her money to get her the assistance she needs.

Guardianships are expensive. However, it may be your only option now. I can't stress enough how important it is to plan for your own incapacity and for the incapacity of your parents and loved ones. A trust or a power of attorney will save you thousands of dollars in attorneys' fees in the event of incapacity. If your mom recovers her capacity, please tell her that she needs to see an estate planning or elder law attorney right away.

Christopher Q. Wintter
Wintter & Associates, P.A.
2239 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, FL 33020
Phone: 954-920-7014 Fax: 954-920-7080
CQW@WintterLaw.com www.WintterLaw.com

Board Certified Trusts and Estates Lawyer

Asker

Posted

Thanks for your advice. I just can't believe the bank would accept the change and then change its mind. My mom went in and signed the document infront of the banker, how could a change in signature due to.old age disqualify her?

Christopher Quinn Wintter

Christopher Quinn Wintter

Posted

In defense of the bank, there are many unscrupulous people that take advantage of old folks and clean them out. Second, the bank is also protecting itself from being involved in the potential theft of money. You would be thankful the bank was doing what it is doing if the person they put on her account was a nurse, cleaning lady, neighbor, or someone out to take your mother's money.

Asker

Posted

Silly thing is a couple of weeks previous she went in and added me as pod which went through. Same signature, I pointed this out and the banker just shrugged. What is the difference in standard???

Posted

If your mother was present at the bank when the signature cards were signed, the bank employee who accepted the cards should be able to assist you. You may also want to speak with the branch manager.
You did not say what your mother's illness is, if she is mentally competent she should sign a Power of Attorney. If she is not mentally competent, depending on her prognoses, you may want to find another source of funds while you wait and see if she improves or you may want to consider a guardianship. Seeking a Guardianship can be a lengthy and expensive undertaking. Be sure to speak with a local estate planning attorney to explore your options.

Answer does not constitute legal advice. (727) 471-0039 or arauman@protectyourfuture.com, This answer is provided for informational and/or educational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Adam is a Florida Attorney practicing in areas of Estate Planning, Elder Law, Trusts, Probate, Guardianship, and Business Law. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.

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