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There is no POA. Would he need to file for guardianship?

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Generally for security reasons, there would have to be some kind of process to go through such as for guardianship in order to take over someone else's financial affairs, including accessing their assets and bank accounts. Unless it's a joint account, you can't just walk into a bank and access someone else's account, it just doesn't work that way. When my surrogate dad had a bank account, no one else could access it. Now when he put me on the account at one time, that was different because I could go in and get money to bring groceries in and also arrange online bill pay to pay the bills automatically so that he didn't have to worry about it. When he got to the point he could no longer live on his own, I was in no position to be able to properly care for him. A court appointed guardian was assigned and I was removed from the bank account by that guardian where the guardian took over all of the affairs. I don't know how long of a process this was, but I can tell you that the bank will definitely tell you when you can no longer access a joint account under certain circumstances. At the time I didn't know what was going on, but in the end I eventually found out, which is how I found out that a guardian was court appointed. My surrogate dad developed dementia, and I was just not equipped to be able to handle it anymore beyond a certain point. This is why a court appointed guardian had to take over all of his affairs, including his bank account. I can honestly say that I'm very glad that I listened to my gut feeling not to put anything into that account because I would've had to fight to get it back. The least I could say yes the bills got paid and groceries were brought in. We did have extra money at the end of each month when I was on the account versus before I was on the account and he had nothing. Sometimes it helps to have a skilled trustee on the account because sometimes a trustee knows some banking secrets to help make the other person's life better. If the elderly wife has become incompetent, then the elderly husband will definitely have to go for guardianship to gain access to his wife's bank account if he's not on that account. Banks are very serious about the customer protection, and I'm very sure workers are very thoroughly screened before ever being trusted with money. Potential employees must pass the test before ever being trusted to handle other peoples money because they represent the bank when they're hired. When hired, bank workers must remain trustworthy by meeting a certain standard. This is why you can't just walk into any bank and access someone else's account without taking certain proper steps. If you have any questions, you can direct them to either the teller or the banker who will guide you and tell you where you need to start.
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The bank will insist on seeing a court order giving him access. That means a guardianship petition, with a lawyer, in court.
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They would have to be joint on the account in order for him to access the money without some legal proceeding, e.g. becoming conservator or guardian. Otherwise the money will need to go through probate and be distributed as written in the will. I don't know of any states that would do this differently, though there may be some out there. My parents lived in a community property state, but had separate bank accounts. My father's money had to go through a 6-month probate period when he died before it was given to my mother.
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Generally, uless he's a joint signatory, I don't see how he could without going through legal proceedings to obtain control of her finances.

FF is right though; there may be some state legislation specific to that. I also don't know that much about community property and whether he would have access under that principle.
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It could depend on what State this couple lives in, and if the husband has equal access to his wife's accounts, as she would to his accounts.

Or is this a situation, where the wife had the saving account prior to her getting married, and is there a pre-nup?
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