Natwest wont let mum have her inheritance

Anyone had trouble getting Natwest to pay out an inheritance to someone with dementia? My stepfather died in November without a will. He didn’t have much money but had a small amount in Natwest. Natwest accepted that mum was sole beneficiary but said she had to sign a form to claim it. I pointed out that she had advanced dementia and couldnt sign a form but that I held power of attorney and would sign on her behalf. They said no . They insisted that power of attorney doesnt apply in this case and that my sister and i had to apply to the probate office for letters of administration. We are trying to do this but in order to apply we need mum’s doctor to sign a form to say that she is not mentally capable to manage her own finances. Her doctor is refusing to do this as they say that it relates to finance and not health and so it is outside their remit. We dont know what to fo next. Has anyone come across this before?

No advice but good luck

Thanks. Definitely need a bit of luck.

If the power of attorney is over her finances, then there shouldn’t be a problem: your mum is beneficiary, you manage her finances, that should be enough I’d have thought. However, banks seem to have their own rules. Might be worth seeking advice from the Court of Protection in this case. Enquiries are on 0300 456 4600.

Perhaps talk to a independent financial advisor in order tomorrow morning to see if they can assist.

Make a formal complaint to the bank and ask for compensation for all the distress and inconvenience they are causing. They are completely out of order, in breach of the Equality Act. I have had several battles with banks and building societies over issues like this. I’ve had a number of £100 compensation payments as a result. If they say “we can’t do that” ask them to escalate the issue to someone who can.

Thanks. Planning to take to Financial ombudsman as we have already made a formal complaint to the CEO and got nowhere.

We had a similar issue when my Dad died. His only resources were a bank account with Santander. My brother had POA and should have simply sent out cheques to distribute the Estate… Instead he tried to make multiple electronic transfers and that Bank froze the account suspecting fraud. When he told them Dad had died they insisted on him obtaining Probate. That IS NOT NECESSARY it is just a stupid rule by the bank and nothing more. It costs money to get Probate and takes time. As I say I checked and there is NO LEGAL reason, just the banks being bloody minded. However, you should try complaining to CEO as that can work - even if you just demand something towards the cost of obtaining Probate. If enough people have a go at them they may eventually realise they need to be sensible. Oh wait this is a bank we are talking about - sense does not apply !

Did you eventually get things sorted? We complained to CEO and my sister is brilliant at doing things like this but we can’t get them to budge. A solicitor has told us they should accept the POA so we are going back to them and going to quote the Mental Capacity Act as well. We think it is totally wrong that each bank can make up its own rules. There should be a standardised set of rules for these cases. I want to start a campaign to get 100k signatires to get it debated in parliament. Would anyone out there support me?

I’d certainly sign and promote it.

I definitely would sign

I didn’t hold the POA as Dad turned against me a few years ago and got my brother in the role. He is an idiot! He spent over a thousand pounds getting POA registered (when it costs around £80 online) and another £750 for a very simple Will which, when I saw it was full of spelling mistakes and errors!! I didnt argue as I was at the point of giving up. Having had half the family shouting at me that I was abusing him when I was asking GP to help and she said he had dementia so I walked away from it all.
He moved to Cornwall and they managed to persuade a new GP who had never seen him that he did not have dementia. However, within six months it all fell apart and he was shouting at everyone like he had me and had to be taken to live in a home, where he would ring my brother at 3am claiming there were 3 men sitting in his room in their underwear waiting for a train… They still just said he didnt have dementia and was just a confused little old man. I wont go into some of the other things he got up to…

It ended up in cost of obtaining Probate and a further eight week delay in finalising the Estate. It was ALL unnecessary. Oops I am having a good moan again!!

I would be up for signing such a petition and would be able to get a lot of friends to do the same, once the problems are explained to them. It would also give a chance to badger local MPs to get the message across and raise the profile of Carers again. Could we stir up CarersUK enough to get a lot of media publicity as well…? Oh heck I am becoming militant !

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Hello Helen - thanks for posting about your situation in Carers Connect.

I’ve passed on your post to our Helpline and will let you know if they have any advice to pass on. I should hear from them in the next few days.

Wishing you well


Ask the Equality Commission for a copy of their document that says how organisations have to make reasonable adjustments.
When a bank customer dies, then automatically that means a POA is null and void. However your mum is alive, and you have a valid POA.

Thanks. We have clearly told the bank that it is our mum we are representing with the POA and she is not dead. I think the Natwest bereavement team is staffed by idiots. They sent me a letter saying that they understand that this is a difficult time for me and they want to make things easy for me then they go and do the opposite.

One thing i didnt mention before. When i organised my stepfather’s funeral the undertaker asked who his banker was. I said a bit in Nationwide and some in Natwest. He said i would have no trouble with Nationwide but that Natwest would cause me a lot of stress and it would take ages to get the money out of them because he had customers who had had problems. He was right.

Somewhere I have a document written by the Equality Commission about banks and disabled clients. I know which file it is in, but am currently reorganisation my small study, so it’s not in the usual place. My husband had a business account with Natwest, they were useless then, it took me 18 months to get the money back.

This might help? Equality law - Banks and other financial services providers | Equality and Human Rights Commission (

When you say the doctor won’t sign because it relates to finances and not health, well surely it is a health matter because it relates to your mom’s dementia. If someone is off work due to sickness and they need a doctor’s note, then they sign one, or if you want a letter written up for other matters, which I have had done myself, the doctor will type up a letter and sign it. So I really don’t understand the reluctance of your doctor in this matter.

We dont understand it either. The doctor has the form - it is provided by the Probates office andit only needs two things. What mum has (dementia) and a signature. The advice someone put about the Equalities commission has been really helpful. They agree it is discrimination by Natwest and are helping us put in yet another complaint.