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Tuesday 23 February 2010 8.54pm
My cousin died unexpectedly from cancer 3 weeks ago and when his wife went to her building society to draw some money from their little joint ISA she was told that it had to go to probate...why would she have to do that if it was in joint names? Is there any where online I can look for her? sorry to do this to you again....
Tuesday 23 February 2010 9.45pm
Jan, I'm confused.
Firstly, my wife and I have everything in joint names exactly for the reason above. With me being almost fifteen years older thann her, it will simplify matters when the time comes. However, when it came to ISA's we were told that there was no such thing as a joint ISA. So we had to open seperate accounts.
Tuesday 23 February 2010 10.27pm
I've been pondering that too Chalkey, I'm wondering if because of the state of shock she must be feeling she's made a mistake..It was Santander at camberwell green I think. But because her husband had handled everything for her I wonder if she means a joint savings account?
Tuesday 23 February 2010 10.56pm
Jan the old one wrote:
It was Santander at camberwell green I think.

Oh dear. That's the old Abbey isn't it? The worst branch of the worst building society. I was with them for 5 years and a friend currently is. It's the last thing she needs right now. Someone needs to be with her when she speaks to them. I'm not saying she's not got her wires crossed, just that they won't be helping the situation much.
Wednesday 24 February 2010 8.41am
I think I'll tell her to leave it until after the funeral and then I can go with her. The insurance people are taking their time settling the policy claim too.

Funny that you knew the branch Beetroot! and she said the lady had a very difficult to understand accent. I think if staff are going deal with the public clarity of speech is essential.
Wednesday 24 February 2010 10.13am
Beetroot, you're absolutely right. The lady needs someone at her side at a time like this. None of us can think straight at times of bereavement.

Jan, it must be some kind of joint account. And as for the insurance company dragging their feet.....I'd better not say what I think of insurance companies from past experience..
Second thoughts, I will. They are as happy as Larry taking the premiums and then squeal like stuck pigs when they have to pay out. And as for clarity of speech when dealing with the public......
Overseas call centres.......Need I say more?
Wednesday 24 February 2010 2.48pm
I would reckon that if one wants equal chances on finding a job the least thing you do is make sure you master the language!

In any case, I know a friend of mine had his Mum open a new account in her name (with credit card), cancelled the card and paid the bill directly after his dad passed away, transferred all the funds from the joint accounts to his Mum's new account and only then told the bank that his dad had passed away. Granted, my friend is rather anal when it comes to this type of stuff and obviously very clear headed in times of crisis but this turned out to be the best thing he could have done for her as it made everything so much easier to deal with.
Monday 1 March 2010 2.51pm
Hi Jan,

It would depend on whether the account was held jointly and severally (which means either party could sign without the other) or an account requiring both parties' signatures to operate. If the account requires both parties to sign, then the bank is right not to allow withdrawals at this time.

However, even if both parties are required to sign, if the amount is relatively small, most banking institutions will accept a copy of the death certificate (WITHOUT A GRANT OF PROBATE) to allow a transfer to an account in the surviving spouse's name. However, if there are other assets which are worth a bit, or there are gifts in the will which aren't going to your friend, it will be necessary to apply for the grant anyway. (If he died without a will, then he is 'intestate' and instead of a grant of probate, the things to obtain are letters of administration.

If there's a house and/or other expensive assets which are in your cousin's name, it would probably be best to seek advice from an experienced probate solicitor as probate can be complex. I don't know of any good ones round these parts and my firm charges a bomb!

This link ( is the HM Courts Service leaflet re probate.
Monday 1 March 2010 3.15pm
Thank you Gavin,

thats the funny thing, she has not worked since they got married 42 years ago, and all of his jobs were low paid ones, and like lots of ordinary hardworking people paid their rent,c/t ect., They rented a one bedroom flat from peabody, no property is involved, no gold jewels or other! I am sure the account was in joint names..:-( but as the funeral was last Friday she is in a fragile state and I am going slowly with her..
Jantoo x

p.s. the brenchly gardens crematorium chapel was filthy, had not been cleaned for months by the look of it!
Monday 1 March 2010 4.35pm
my pleasure, Jan. Then it would seem that there is no point spending lots on solicitors' fees. If the amounts involved are low, hopefully a certified copy of the death certificate will do the trick. Hope your cousin-in-law (?) is bearing up :)

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