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The dangers and legal implications of adding someone to a bank account

Philippa Barton

Posted by Philippa Barton | Partner
On 28th September 2018

It is quite common for the elderly and incapacitated to add a third party to their bank accounts so that someone can help them with their finances. They may appoint one of their adult children, because that person happens to live locally and visits often. They may appoint a friend, neighbour or carer.

They believe that they are simply adding a name to their account but the reality is that they are changing their sole account to a joint account. What they may not realise is that on death any money held in a joint account passes automatically to the joint owner whether you intended this to happen or not.

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Charlie Gard and best interests’ decisions

Philippa Barton

Posted by Philippa Barton | Partner
On 31st July 2017

There has been a great deal of press coverage of the sad case of Charlie Gard who was born with a very rare genetic disease causing progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) advised his parents that there was no prospect of recovery and that his condition was terminal.

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Severe cuts in payments to bereaved families.

Philippa Barton

Posted by Philippa Barton | Partner
On 18th April 2017

When my father died in the 1970s leaving a widow and three teenage children, my mother was entitled to a Widow’s Pension which was the equivalent to a State Pension and this was paid to her until she received the State Pension.

Following a challenge by a widower to the European Court of Human Rights, the Widow’s Pension was replaced by the Widowed Parent’s Allowance which was paid to mothers and fathers. A lump sum of £2,000 was also paid to bereaved spouses.

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Help for the families of missing persons

Philippa Barton

Posted by Philippa Barton | Partner
On 15th March 2017

A very high number of people go missing each year in the UK. The figure is about 275,000. About one third of the missing are adults.

Most people who go missing reappear relatively quickly but some disappear for decades. It is estimated that there are currently around 20,000 people who have been missing for at least a year.

Apart from the distress and grief they suffer, there are a number of practical problems for those who are left behind.

If body has been found, then it is not possible to obtain a death certificate and make a claim on a life insurance policy.

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