Personal Finance

accessing account of someone in hospital.

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 4th, 2019 5:53 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
10194 posts
2751 upvotes

accessing account of someone in hospital.

hi everyone, anyone who works for a bank can give some advice here?

person A has been admitted to a hospital, and is not expected to leave, and not pass away for at least several years.
Person B (spouse) uses money from person A to pay bills, and has access to bank card and pin of Person A.
there is no power of attorny on file and person A is not fit to sign one.
as of now, person B plans to continue to access bank machine to get money coming in (pension money)
person B has quotes of 2000$ to legally get ownership of person A's finiances, but doesn't have that money right now to spare.

will banks ever suspend person's A account (im guessing they have no way of knowing of the medical issue)
person B should be ok as long as the card doesn't stop working?
person B is hesitant to mention anything to the bank for fear of the bank locking out person A

also this is fully legit, nothing criminal, simply 2 married seniors, one in failing health, and a lot of old school mentality.
48 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2011
1070 posts
367 upvotes
Toronto
The bank certainly has the right to stop person B from accessing person A's money. If that happens, that'll put person B is stress.

Better hire the lawyer to make person B legally able to access person A's money.

This is why every adult with some wealth should have a will, and Power Of Attorney.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
44554 posts
7645 upvotes
T.O. Lotto Captain
I see this all the time..
Get a lawyer to draw up a legit POA and will. Don’t bring a photocopy to the bank. Bring either a norarized copy or the original (let bank copy and take back original).

That way you can do banking legit.
Because the bank is fully within their right to stop the other person from accessing the account.

Imagine if someone randomly hacks the sick persons account. The bank has to freeze the cArd and account. Now he is screwed.
Save yourself the stress and do it properly...

@ work i see this often. Usually one mistake or unforeseen circumstance happens and the entire house of cards falls down.
We don’t really give them a hard time. We tell them the reprecussions.

-they lose the debt card
-card stops working due to wear and tear
-they think its another card and use the wrong pin thus locking the card out
-someone hacks the account. Only the actual account holder can fix this, & they can’t fix this over the phone
-big point here... if the bank knows you share your card and pin with someone who isnt joint or POA on the account... fraudulent activity claims can be denied.
Last edited by UrbanPoet on May 29th, 2019 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 10, 2018
3721 posts
790 upvotes
centre of universe
UrbanPoet wrote: I see this all the time..
Get a lawyer to draw up a legit POA and will. Don’t bring a photocopy to the bank. Bring either a norarized copy or the original (let bank copy and take back original).

That way you can do banking legit.
Because the bank is fully within their right to stop the other person from accessing the account.

Imagine if someone randomly hacks the sick persons account. The bank has to freeze the cArd and account. Now he is screwed.
Save yourself the stress and do it properly...
This. I have seen this last week at bank. The bank csr was ready to help this family explaining all these things. He said his hands are tied with out proper authorization/documents.
I dont care about Ethics, morals, rules or laws. I will apologies only when I get caught.
I try not to apologies but sometimes do it. not because its right thing but it benefits me.
New Mantra for idiots Just ask RFD before searching answers anywhere.
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4324 posts
4377 upvotes
Vancouver
Obviously if person B has online access to the accounts, nothing stops them from using that access even though they have no legal authority to do so. Person B could even transfer some money out of Person A's account to keep some cash on hand for immediate needs in case the account is frozen. But obviously it would be best to make arrangements for a PoA as soon as possible, especially if this situation is going to continue for some time or may occur again. You can shop around a bit on the price for drawing up a PoA, depending on the complexity of the situation. The problem here is that if person A is currently unable to sign a PoA, and won't be able for some time or maybe ever, then things get a lot more difficult. Also keep in mind that if the worst happens and person A dies, any PoA expires with them and the accounts are frozen pending probate.

The banks vary a lot in how they handle a PoA. Some are very understanding about the situation, and have it handled in a few minutes of your time if you come in with the proper paperwork. Others take weeks and make many demands for additional information and work from you. On the one hand it's good to see them being careful. On the other hand the outliers can be a bit exasperating in the amount of extra time and work they require that's clearly unnecessary.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
8787 posts
3254 upvotes
Toronto
Scote64 wrote: Obviously if person B has online access to the accounts, nothing stops them from using that access even though they have no legal authority to do so. Person B could even transfer some money out of Person A's account to keep some cash on hand for immediate needs in case the account is frozen. But obviously it would be best to make arrangements for a PoA as soon as possible, especially if this situation is going to continue for some time or may occur again. You can shop around a bit on the price for drawing up a PoA, depending on the complexity of the situation. The problem here is that if person A is currently unable to sign a PoA, and won't be able for some time or maybe ever, then things get a lot more difficult. Also keep in mind that if the worst happens and person A dies, any PoA expires with them and the accounts are frozen pending probate.

The banks vary a lot in how they handle a PoA. Some are very understanding about the situation, and have it handled in a few minutes of your time if you come in with the proper paperwork. Others take weeks and make many demands for additional information and work from you. On the one hand it's good to see them being careful. On the other hand the outliers can be a bit exasperating in the amount of extra time and work they require that's clearly unnecessary.
The problem is that "nothing stops them from using that access" is wrong. The banks can stop the access(es) immediately. Person B can inadvertently locks him/herself out, etc.

The banks would and should NOT be understanding, and only takes a few minutes dealing with a POA presented to them without the presence of person A. I've dealt with banks about POA, and they are very strict, wanting verification and their lawyer's ok, as they should. If a bank relaxes those rules, and give instant approval, the person handling the situation should be fired.
Member
Feb 13, 2017
369 posts
346 upvotes
toronto, ontario
Question: Is this a joint bank account where Person A and Person B are co-signers?
[OP]
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
10194 posts
2751 upvotes
just a bit of back story, my parents live in a town of less then 10,000 people and its seriously stuck in 1980. people line up at the bank to pay bills, everyone knows everyone, very old school.

Its "news" when a new house gets built.

Person A cannot legally sign a document anymore, and never will be able to, so we have to get a guardianship application, but its around 2000$, shopping around wont really work in this case. the current plan is to take to no action for a few months and hope nothing happens to the account, its basically a 2700 pension payment every month that goes into it, my dad would take 1100 to pay for bills, and the rest is going to go to the care facility.
[OP]
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
10194 posts
2751 upvotes
PhotoSmurf wrote: Question: Is this a joint bank account where Person A and Person B are co-signers?
we are trying to determine that, we don't want to ask a lot of questions to the bank in case they lock it out, my dad is almost deaf so it makes this even more challenging.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 1, 2012
1464 posts
2041 upvotes
Thunder Bay, ON
It probably violates the account agreement Person A signed with the bank. I might do it (and have done it) for short term hospital stays. But I would not continue doing it for years.

Is person A able to speak and sign documents? Most jurisdictions do not require a lawyer to draw up a POA. You didn't say where person A is, but in Ontario you can use the government form and have it signed and witnessed. Note that the attorney cannot also witness the document. And the bank might have their own POA form that can be used instead.

Here is a link to the Ontario POA kit:
https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on. ... poakit.php

Not helpful for person A, but this does highlight the importance of completing POAs (and wills) before they are needed, and also a joint bank account for couples.

Edit: OP I see you answered my questions in your post # 8 and 9 while I was typing my response.
I solemnly swear, to never assume I have an inkling at which direction the market will head, and to never make any investments based on a timing strategy.
[OP]
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
10194 posts
2751 upvotes
Deepwater wrote: It probably violates the account agreement Person A signed with the bank. I might do it (and have done it) for short term hospital stays. But I would not continue doing it for years.

Is person A able to speak and sign documents? Most jurisdictions do not require a lawyer to draw up a POA. You didn't say where person A is, but in Ontario you can use the government form and have it signed and witnessed. Note that the attorney cannot also witness the document. And the bank might have their own POA form that can be used instead.

Here is a link to the Ontario POA kit:
https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on. ... poakit.php

Not helpful for person A, but this does highlight the importance of completing POAs (and wills) before they are needed, and also a joint bank account for couples.
person A has been been declared not capable by a doctor and social worker, and will require 24/7 care. so they cannot sign a PoA anymore. this is a dementia case. they are in Newfoundland
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 11, 2003
2320 posts
913 upvotes
Toronto
OP: I don't think your mom will have troubles paying off the bills and stuff as long as the transactions are similar from month to month. If she tried to withdraw or transfer a large sum of money then I think the bank may find this suspicious. One option is to try and transfer the bank account to your name. That way you can control the account and do stuff if needed. Then add your mom's name to it if you need to. Mind you, I don't know how to go about doing that. I'm just throwing the idea out there.

Sorry to jump in here with this question but for the Power of Attorney form, do you just sign and date it? That was my understanding. Thanks.
P10 2.4 THz CPU || 8 TB Ram || WD 300 TB HD || Nvidia w/ 32 TB Memory

"You're only as dumb as you look"
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
8787 posts
3254 upvotes
Toronto
ds2chan wrote: OP: I don't think your mom will have troubles paying off the bills and stuff as long as the transactions are similar from month to month. If she tried to withdraw or transfer a large sum of money then I think the bank may find this suspicious. One option is to try and transfer the bank account to your name. That way you can control the account and do stuff if needed. Then add your mom's name to it if you need to. Mind you, I don't know how to go about doing that. I'm just throwing the idea out there.

Sorry to jump in here with this question but for the Power of Attorney form, do you just sign and date it? That was my understanding. Thanks.
People should STOP giving bad advice here, especially if you don't even know some of the basic answers yourself (why don't you just read the link given just before your post)

The OP needs to work with the mother and pay a lawyer to get access to the bank accounts legally ASAP. The ILLEGAL access to person A's money CANNOT go on. Until you make it right, it is ILLEGAL. This is a blant way to put it. The OP needs to understand the severity of the situation. Other people saying the banks will be lenient or relax the rules, have NOT dealt with banks in this type of situation (I have). Please stop giving wrong advice.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 1, 2012
1464 posts
2041 upvotes
Thunder Bay, ON
ds2chan wrote: Sorry to jump in here with this question but for the Power of Attorney form, do you just sign and date it? That was my understanding. Thanks.
It depends on the jurisdiction. In Ontario the grantor and two witnesses must sign it. All three must be present at the same time when it is signed and witnessed. The attorney cannot be a witness. The attorney does not have to be present when the POA is signed, and often if it is prepared by a lawyer they will require the attorney to not be there in case the attorney is attempting to apply undue influence over the grantor.

For Ontario see the link I provided upthread in post #10.
I solemnly swear, to never assume I have an inkling at which direction the market will head, and to never make any investments based on a timing strategy.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 11, 2003
2320 posts
913 upvotes
Toronto
Arrgh wrote: People should STOP giving bad advice here, especially if you don't even know some of the basic answers yourself (why don't you just read the link given just before your post)

The OP needs to work with the mother and pay a lawyer to get access to the bank accounts legally ASAP. The ILLEGAL access to person A's money CANNOT go on. Until you make it right, it is ILLEGAL. This is a blant way to put it. The OP needs to understand the severity of the situation. Other people saying the banks will be lenient or relax the rules, have NOT dealt with banks in this type of situation (I have). Please stop giving wrong advice.
Relax. I didn't say it was legal. I just said she could probably get away with it for the time being. And it wasn't even advice.

Deepwater wrote: It depends on the jurisdiction. In Ontario the grantor and two witnesses must sign it. All three must be present at the same time when it is signed and witnessed. The attorney cannot be a witness. The attorney does not have to be present when the POA is signed, and often if it is prepared by a lawyer they will require the attorney to not be there in case the attorney is attempting to apply undue influence over the grantor.

For Ontario see the link I provided upthread in post #10.
Thanks. I quickly glanced at it and the form said "attorney" in a few places so I wasn't sure if the form meant the person you wanted to give power to or an actual lawyer. I'll have to go back and read it thoroughly then to make sure I understand it. The form is just so long!!
P10 2.4 THz CPU || 8 TB Ram || WD 300 TB HD || Nvidia w/ 32 TB Memory

"You're only as dumb as you look"
Deal Addict
May 12, 2014
2873 posts
2602 upvotes
Montreal
rocking23nf wrote: just a bit of back story, my parents live in a town of less then 10,000 people
So presumably the bank will find out very soon and lock you out...

Are there any heirs that could contest the way the money is being spent, or is the wife the sole heir?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 27, 2004
44554 posts
7645 upvotes
T.O. Lotto Captain
rocking23nf wrote: just a bit of back story, my parents live in a town of less then 10,000 people and its seriously stuck in 1980. people line up at the bank to pay bills, everyone knows everyone, very old school.

Its "news" when a new house gets built.

Person A cannot legally sign a document anymore, and never will be able to, so we have to get a guardianship application, but its around 2000$, shopping around wont really work in this case. the current plan is to take to no action for a few months and hope nothing happens to the account, its basically a 2700 pension payment every month that goes into it, my dad would take 1100 to pay for bills, and the rest is going to go to the care facility.
Semi loop hole.
Order a check book. Big fat one.
That way if something needs to be paid. Or cash is needed... hospitalized person can write a check.
Technically its not illegal to do a bad signature. So if he is critically ill and can only scribble an initial... that is enough to endorse the check.

This way you get a back up method.

But again... house of cards. All it takes is one thing to go wrong.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
8787 posts
3254 upvotes
Toronto
OP already said the dad is unfit to sign (either physically or because of dementia issue and deemed incapable of making decisions or both). A bad signature that is substantially different than what the bank has on record (of the original signature) will also trigger alarm, and if the bank suspects fraud and freeze the assets, that can lead to even more problem.

In a small town where everyone knows everybody else, it will be very quick for the bank to find. The OP and mom needs to take action ASAP to make the current ILLEGAL access to the money legal -- providing that access is not contested.

I and my relative(s) have dealt with banks in situations of people died without a will, and it's really messy. Even with a POA, the banks will still need time to verify. That's why everyone should have will and POA.

Getting a lawyer involved to make things right and legal, should be done ASAP.
Sr. Member
Jun 13, 2018
633 posts
470 upvotes
Agreed with most of the above, the OP needs to get some legal doc's in place. While a person used to be able to make a deposit into another persons account, that practice is long gone, security issues. Once the photo on the atm is determined to not be the account owner the account will be locked.

OP, go find a government program to help you. Or a local benefactor, or ... Be proactive.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
8674 posts
1619 upvotes
Of course, get this done properly. However, in the meantime see if you can setup or use online banking to pay bills until this matter has been properly resolved.
Help an animal charity or sanctuary out today. Become a volunteer, advocate, foster a pet, or donate. They need you as much as you need them!

Top