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Daniel, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 4844
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (dist) Graduate Diploma in Legal Practise. Admitted NSW Supreme Court / High Court
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This question is about severing jointly held assets - not

Customer Question

Hello, this question is about severing jointly held assets - not property but bank accounts and shares held by my father and his wife. Outline is:
- My sister and I have powers of attorney, jointly and severally, for our father who has recently been diagnosed with dementia
-The Trustee and Guardian has Power of Attorney for Dad's wife, who has had dementia for some time ( and until recently DAd had her PoA). TheTrustee's PoA for his wife is being activated because we want to sever their joint assets.
-The assets consist of jointly held bank account/s, jointly held shares, and a bank account in Dad's name alone which was probably the proceeds of sale of his and his wife's home and so the Trustee has mentioned they see it as half belonging to his wife
-Is this a procedural matter that should be straightforward?
- What is the best way to expedite it with the Trustee?
- If they are terribly slow, as they have been so far, how to get them to speed up- OR -can we do it without the trustee's cooperation?
- Is there an initiative/document/way to ensure the process can be completed if something happened to my father before severing is all done.
many thanks - Christine
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Daniel replied 6 months ago.

the difficulty is that the joint monies are hers, as well as his.
Issue is also, the trustee and guardian charge excessively for their work once the person passes away.
If you do clean out the accounts, the trustee 'will come knocking'

I would suggest speaking with the Guardianship and either having an arrangement whereby the monies are split now, or in turn arrange for you and your sister to be guardian of the wife's estate also, as you are family.

This can be done with an application to the guardianship tribunal.

You are able to clean out the accounts as it were, as they are jointly owned, but the guardianship will perhaps cause more issue than warranted. I would suggest speaking with them directly and have the monies split.

IF there is issue with them, you can lodge a compliant with the ombudsman.

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