The doctor has just called me and told me that they categorically will not sign They say that we need to pay privately for an assessment. Looked on the internet and they cost £700. I am at my wits end. I just dont know what to do. I toss abd turn every night and cant get any sleep with all the stress. I told the doctor that i think the only thing i can do is threaten to jimp off a motorway bridge. They still say they wont help.
No advice but good luck.
Is mum actually desperate for the money immediately? If not, don’t stew about it so much, you need a break from all this.
Bit confused, sorry. Did you have both parts of the POA, ie Health & Welfare and Finance & Property?
Each Bank or building society has their own rules about how much money is in an account before you have to get Probate. My Mum’s bank insisted on it if you had more than £50,000 with them. Some banks are a bit less.
We have the Finance POA. Natwest insist on probate for more than £50000 but my stepfather has a fraction of that. Under their code of conduct they would pay direct to my mum (the only beneficiary) if she could sign the form herself but apparently there is a court case that said an attorney can only act in these circumstances if they obtain a letter of administration. Natwest could at their discretion waive this for the amount my stepfather has but they wont.
The real source of the problem is the missing will. I think the Solicitors are only saying it wasn’t signed as they had lost it and they were trying to cover it up. So we are now making a complaint against them via the Law ombudsman.
The money belongs to Mum - not to the bank. However the bank has a responsibility to ensure that money is paid out to its rightful owner, and has procedures in place to ensure this.
It seems to me that the hold up is on the part of the doctor refusing to sign. I can understand that the doctor feels unable to speak on finances, but there is a health issue with Mum and the doctor should be able to testify for this.
I suggest you have a few words with the surgery practice manager. They won’t be able to overrule the doctor but may be able to point you towards someone willing to give the statement you require. If necessary, this could be escalated to the local NHS trust.
Take it to the media. Call a newspaper. Local rights campaigners. Once it’s out there in the public I bet they soon get act together and sort it. There’s the BBC show on in the mornings. Gloria HunerFord does it.
Hello again, Helen. It may have been slightly easier if your stepfather had have left a will, but there are clear rules governing intestacy. The bank has at least recognized that the money is owed to Mum; it is asking for Probate as a security measure. Whether this is reasonable or not I am not at liberty to say; all banks have their codes of practice and some are stricter than others.
As has been said earlier, the doctor is being asked to testify on a health issue, not a financial one but finance is indirectly involved. I am afraid there is a lot of fraud around these days, and the doctor may be in fear of litigation so may have a policy not to be involved in any case involving money. I think they could be a little more reasonable, however, and suggest a way forward if he or she is reluctant to sign.
The hiatus is between the doctor and the Probate office, and this is where I suggest you focus your attempts to resolve this. If you have not already done so, it may be an idea to have a few words with the Probate office, tell them about the doctor’s reluctance and ask if they can suggest a way to get things moving. They may well have had other cases like this.
Best wishes and keep in touch about how things go.
I would suggest a very short letter to the bank, not the local branch, but the Chief Executive at the Head Office.
Head it with dad’s name and address, as he was their customer.
- Mum is sole beneficiary.
- You have a valid POA, and therefore they are legally obliged to treat you as if you are mum.
Request that he arranges an immediate transfer the funds without further delay, or explains why they are failing to recognise you as mum’s legal attorney.
Ask for compensation for all the distress they have caused due to their ignorance of the law.
Sign with your name as POA for mum.
Just this. Nothing more.
Just the above, a very short, sweet, and to the point letter…
VERY good suggestion BB. It puts the onus on THEM to act or if they fail to do so they will be open to severe criticism by the Banking Ombudsman if it comes to that.
The word ombudsman to the bank’s etc make them sit up! If it’s used the bank have to pay a substantial fee before investigation start’s.
I always believe “Revenge is a dish best served cold”.
I had all sorts of problems a few years ago, and each time I got the bank or organisation to admit in a conversation that “the service which I had received fell short of what a customer should reasonably expect” and the person on the phone would agree. Then I said “as you yourself have now admitted this, I would like to receive compensation for all the distress and inconvenience you have caused me…” One year, the compensation I received from various organisations funded an entire week at the hotel where I stay in Crete!!! My other pet phrase for complete idiots is that they “should be removed from a public facing role until they have successfully completed further training”! I never ever get cross during these conversations.
Helen - you did mention earlier that you were going to take your case to the banking ombudsman. Have you done that?
Thanks for all the suggestions but we have already tried most of them. Email complaint to CEO of Natwest didnt work - they still wont give mum her money. Doctor has point blanked refused to sign the form. They insist that it is outside their remit. They say we have to engage a private service to get a mental capacity assessment (we have seen a £700 charge for this). I have started the complaint service against the solicitor about my stepfathers will as i am convinced that he did sign it but they have lost it and are trying to cover it up. Tomorrow i am going to engage a solicitor to help me. I suspect i will have to pay at least £2000 to get my mums money for her which seems grossly unfair.
Don’t give up, Helen. As I have suggested earlier, the hold-up is the doctor declining to provide a report. I think your chance of success is greater if you concentrate in this area.
Why not take your case to the General Medical Council. This body oversees the ethics of the medical profession, and can assist people with concerns over how a medical practitioner has handled a matter. You can find them on the web here:
You say that you have found a service that will provide a mental capacity assessment for £700. Shop around! There are firms out there that charge a lot of money for things that can be obtained more cheaply elsewhere. They make big profits, some of which is used to pay search engines a lot of money to make sure that their result appears near the top of page one.
The following web site is also worth a visit (Click to visit):
Finally, have you been in touch with Citizens’ Advice? They have details of hundreds of organizations, and may well be able to give you a helpful lead.
Please keep in touch with any news, good or bad.
Thank you. Latest news - the Solicitor who lost my stepfather’s will has visited Natwest bank on our behalf (at no cost to us either so the threat to report to ombudsman has gone them worried). Anyway the customer service rep told the solicitor that if i took original copies of documents into my local branch they would arrange a closure form. He sent me a letter stating that in writing to take to the branch. I spent two hours in my local branch trying to sort it out and all they did was send a bereavement report to their head office bereavement team - the same team that have refused to pay mum the money. So going round in circles again.
Helen, this must be so frustrating for you. All I can suggest is let the Solicitor know. And definitely get your blood pressure checked. All the unnecessary stress from all this must be playing havoc with your health.
Thanks for your update, Helen. The problem you may face here is that you have already been in touch with the CEO, who has insisted on letters of administration, and his subordinate jobsworthies may not be able to countermand his instructions. On the other hands, it sounds as though there has been a bit of a muddle, and a solicitor’s letter may get things moving. At least there has been some communication. Please keep in touch.