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My brother-in-law talked my dad into being his Enduring Power of Attorney a few years ago because he wanted control of my dad's money. My dad was 91 at the time and quite naïve with his money and too trusting, which most seniors are at that age. My brother-in-law set up my dad's accounts with the bank in joint owner investment accounts with my sister, brother and myself. We all had to sign for this at the bank. A moderate amount was left in dad's saving's account for his living his expenses. I had my dad's name on a waiting list for a full care home and his name came up. Although my dad is subsidized with the government for his rent their, his monthly rent exceeds his pension income.


I am his Enduring Power of Attorney now and have been right after this happened ,some other things were going on as well that weren't in dad's best interest. Dad is now turning 95 and the money in his savings is running low. I took dad to the bank recently to see if we could transfer some money from his investments into his chequing account to pay some bills, and the bank manager told us the others have to come in to sign as well with my dad.


My sister hasn't talked to my dad for ages and hangs up on him if he calls her and my brother doesn't visit him much at all and hardly ever phones. They weren't asked as of yet to come in to sign as I told them to wait and see what I can do as we feel dad shouldn't have to ask them for his money and doesn't want to. We're sure they wouldn't come into sign anyways. Dad wants to take them off the investments, let alone be in the same room having them sign so that he can take HIS money out. I'm not sure if he ever can change anything regarding the will and if he does gets a lawyer, he is worried that he won't have enough money to pay for legal fees. When my BIL arranged this set up with his accounts 4 years ago, he didn't think that my dad would live this long and would get by on the money that he set up in his savings account. I haven't talked to them for 4 years because of a horrible relationship I had with them. They are very hostile and negative so myself and my side of the family cut them out of our lives. Not sure what to do?

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Banks in the U.S. don't have a duty to assist, that's for sure. Big banks won't accept a legally executed POA & I've read 2 horror stories where they got down right nasty. One caregiver reported the bank (Wells Fargo, no less) called the cops after the POA, accompanying mom to the bank, refused to let bank personnel take her mom off to an office alone to grill her. The woman had advanced Alzheimer's & what bank has personnel on staff to make a determination as to whether the mom is of sound mind? Apparently, they have their own documents that they want signed, but since nobody knows this, once the LO is no longer competent to sign, their legal department puts up a wall. That's the only way they seemingly can come up with to cover their a** against senior fraud...Only the senior's account is frozen. So, then it's a stand off. Not sure how either party resolved this issue & they couldn't even set up on-line banking.
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Enduring Power of Attorney went out in 2007 and was succeeded by Lasting Power of Attorney. So if what you have is an EPA, it was set up a lot longer ago than four years. You also seem to have managed to create a joint (but not joint-and-several) power of attorney that requires the signatures of all parties, many of whom don't get on with one another.

"I wouldn't start from here..."

Anyway. What you do, if you're in the UK, is contact the Office of the Public Guardian. They have an advice line for members of the public, and will be able to explain your options going forward. You should also speak to the manager of your father's care home and tell her/him what is going on with the money - he or she will be able to smooth things over with the finance department until the situation gets sorted out.

Finally, don't give up on the bank. Your father is their customer. It is their duty to assist him. He needs to access his own money, which requires the signed consent of all his representatives. So the bank needs to obtain those signatures, and it shouldn't be impossible for you to ask them for forms to send to your siblings for them to return to the bank. You could include a covering letter stating what the transfer is for (i.e. to cover ongoing care home fees - give them a copy of invoices or statements from the care home, if you like). They then return their form direct to the bank, and the signatures get collected that way. The trick is to get hold of one, single experienced or senior staff member and cling to this person doggedly - that way you don't have to explain things over and over, and the regrettable level of ignorance about power of attorney among high street bank staff becomes less of a problem as the person finds out more about it.

Try not to worry about it too much, because the money is there, your father's fees will get paid, and there's no reason anything should go seriously wrong - they're not going to chuck him out or anything ghastly. Best of luck, hope you make progress very soon.
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Speak with an elder law attorney.
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The best, most important thing you can do is get to an Elder Care Attorney. Yes, it will cost him money, but so will not having access to his funds. When my mom passed the bank teller told me that since she had passed the trust was frozen. Wrong. I had to have my attorney call the bank attorney, who informed the bank that the account cannot be frozen.

Dad needs to understand his powers and limitations associated with the investment accounts. Additionally, you need to determine if he can gain control over his finances and make sure whatever you do is on solid legal footing.
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It sounds very suspicious that your dad can't access his own money but I don't know exactly why. I would be looking at the motives of the people who are blocking his access to his own money. There's something I'm wondering. I don't know if access to his investments or his bank account or even both are blocked or just his transactions. It would help to know a little more. 

Is he just not allowed to withdraw money from his investments? 

Is his access blocked to his bank account? 

Is his excess blocked to both? 
 
Was he ever irresponsible with money? If so, then you have your answer as to why access to his own money is blocked. If it turns out this is the case, then this brother-in-law probably just doesn't want to see your dad spend himself broke. 

If he was always responsible with money and a good saver and paid his bills on time in full each month, then he doesn't need someone coming along and limiting or even blocking his access to his own money. 

If this was the case, here's what you can do: 

Take all money you were going to transfer to his current account and open a new account for him at a new bank. Ask him if he feels comfortable having you as the trustee. If he does, be his trusty but don't touch that bank account unless you're depositing. I would also signed him up for online banking but keep track of his login info. I don't know if the name of the other  suspicious parties is on his investments, but definitely call the APS and get him an elder care lawyer by calling your state bar association. Definitely call that lawyer they give you the name and number two and tell them exactly what you just told us here. Meanwhile, just take the money you were going to put in his account and put it in a new account for him. Show him how to use online bill pay, but set this up from your end only. Get a list of all of his regular bills and add each person he currently pays as a payee, you must set them up separately. If you set this up once, everything will come out automatically because the bank will send it out for you. I use online bill pay all the time but it took me years to feel comfortable with it and it also took me years to feel comfortable with using an ATM card after hearing about how many people have been jumped trying to use the ATM and also people take them to ATMs at gunpoint. I didn't want the chance of that happening to me and in case it ever would, I just didn't have an ATM card. I finally got one years later and one night I went to go across the street from a store to my bank and I saw a group hanging out in my bank parking lot. I didn't want to risk being jumped so I just didn't go to my bank. I reported the incident and a few minutes later the group was gone and I was able to safely go to my ATM. Now I don't even use the ATM, but I still use the card for all of my transactions. Going digital is actually the best thing you can do and will be very useful for your dad because he will have a record with his bank of where all of his money went. If there are any suspicious withdrawls, the bank will have a record of that and they'll most likely contact proper authorities if they see anything suspicious. 

Now, if your dad happens to have dementia or Alzheimer's, it's important for someone to take over his financial affairs. Does your dad have dementia or Alzheimer's? If so, there's another possible reason why his access to his own money is blocked. 

If your dad is still of sound mind and does not have dementia or Alzheimer's, maybe there still a vulnerability where he could still be taken advantage of  if he's too trusting as you said. If this is the case and the current trustee on the accounts is not the right person, then definitely take proper legal steps to have that person removed. Definitely find out some things if you don't already know so that you can act appropriately

If the relationship between you and these other parties was hostile, how do you know these parties are not blocking access for their own gain. They probably didn't expect him to live this long so they gave him a limited amount of money expecting he would die before now. They were probably expecting to cash in on the rest of the money if this happens to be the case. If so, they were probably hoping to benefit financially from your dad. 

Definitely check all avenues and possibilities. Someone here mentioned guardianship, this may be what you'll have to end up pursuing if you feel guardianship is appropriate for your dad and if he actually needs one. If he needs a guardian, check your own motives and do some serious soul-searching on yourself. Also check to see if you're in a position to be able to do the job of a guardian. Be sure you're actually cut out for it before pursuing it. If you pass the test of looking long and hard at yourself, then go for the guardianship if you're able to do it. Guardianship gives you multiple powers  including demanding an account of where every dime of your dad's money has gone between his bank account and his investments. If someone other than him has been using his money, you'll find out about it if you end up becoming his guardian. Whoever his guardian is will have access to finding out all of his inventory and accounting information. A guardian can also prosecute for misuse of money and assets. A court ordered judgment will demand repayment of stolen funds and return of stolen assets such as home, business or others stolen assets 
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Call Adult Protective Services to explain the situation. Dad needs his money and SIL will not provide access to the account for him without all signing. If all get a call from APS that should help.
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I would talk to an Elder Care Attorney about this. It might be that the only way that you can get around this is if you become his Legal Guardian. Guardianship trumps other documents.
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I wish I could provide an easy answer...I am wondering this: with a joint account, either party can write a check independent of the other....With a five-way joint account, I am thinking it "should" be the same way...However, in the fine print of the account, if there is a stipulation that all five must sign, then that is a sticking point, in which case your POA would be powerless of having any effect..

Grace + Peace,

Bob
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Have you tried to set up this account online? Money transfers become much more flexable
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