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Can an adult and child have a joint bank account?

(39 Posts)
StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 08:43:28

I have had no luck with Google! For complicated reasons, my husband is being asked to open joint bank accounts with both his children (13 and 10). These bank accounts would need to function like normal bank accounts eg online payments possible, normal withdrawal limits etc. Is there any such thing? An additional complication is that the 13 year old is in a secure psychiatric facility so can't go to any branches.

He's currently named on the savings account of the younger child but that has restrictions on it, as you would expect.

Rockchick1984 Thu 28-Feb-13 10:29:03

For the 13 year old a teenage account could be opened and he could be added on as a third party signatory however the account would still be in their name. I don't know of any banks who offer current accounts for 10 year olds. Also, he's unlikely to be able to use Internet banking for them as I believe most banks only offer this to over 16's. If 13 year old can't go into a bank then chances are the only bank this could be offered at is one the child already has an account with.

Can you tell me why he needs to do it, and I can have a think about any other possible solutions?

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 11:21:22

Thanks. His children have a trust fund with trustees who hate him, and are being forced to provide maintenance for the children but want to do the bare minimum. They are refusing to pay it into his bank account (although they have before) and insisting that he set up two bank accounts, each in joint names, to pay maintenance for each child into. In order to be able to actually use this money, he needs to be able to do things electronically with the money, as we have about 30 spare minutes a week that can't really be spent going to bank branches! Most spending on the kids is done online, and often not separate from other family spending.

If the answer is that these accounts simply don't exist, he can tell the trustees that, but we're worried that they will then refuse to pay any maintenance.

Rockchick1984 Thu 28-Feb-13 11:51:39

I'd suggest that he goes and speaks to the bank where the children's accounts are held and explain the situation to them. In all honesty I'd presume that there won't be a solution to it other than the money being paid into his account (would the trustees be happy if he opened a separate current account rather than the money going into his normal account?) however if he could get something in writing from the bank staff at least the trustees will know he's telling the truth.

The only other solution would be opening an account in joint names with him and another person (who the trustees trust, for want of a better way to word it) with the account set up as 2 signatures for transactions. He wouldn't have online access to the money but could cash cheques etc when the children needed money however the cheque would need to be signed by both people named on the account.

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 11:56:31

Thanks again. He's offered to sign an indemnity stating that the money will only be used for the children but that's not been accepted. I suspect the trustees will say they will pay the money into savings accounts, but that involves having to go to the branch to withdraw money, in amounts of £50 or less, in order to use it. I'm not sure if the bank staff will write something but we could ask.

The trustees don't trust anyone else that we know. They are virtual strangers and are as against all the possible co-signees as they are my husband unfortunately.

The massive pain is that we are incredibly busy, as most people are, and the money gets spent on exciting things like food and clothes, which are bought online at midnight normally, or on school expenses which currently go through Paypal via the school's payment systems. The trustees don't actually think they should be contributing at all (first offer was £10 per month pocket money) so would have no trouble paying money in where it is almost impossible to use.

Rockchick1984 Thu 28-Feb-13 12:04:17

Just had a thought - does he have an account at the same bank as the children? If he's named on their accounts some banks will allow their accounts to show on his online banking so he could transfer the money over from their accounts to his (not all banks allow this though).

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 12:24:57

Yes, our joint account is with the same bank as their savings accounts. It's the Co-op - don't know if you know their policy?

Rockchick1984 Thu 28-Feb-13 12:27:45

No idea sorry - if you ring them you should be able to find out though.

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 12:33:47

Will do. Good tip, thanks. I've written to our solicitor in the meantime, setting out your advice as a bit of preliminary thinking, which has been hugely useful.

janek Thu 28-Feb-13 12:34:22

Both of my children have childrens co-op bank accounts, not sure what they're called, but i can find out if you like, it might be bonus account, or something like that, as they are supposed to get some kind of bonus if they have a certain amount of money in there for a certain length of time...

Anyway, i am a joint signatory on these accounts and have transferred money out of them in the past using my own smile.co.uk login security details.

I think the accounts can pass over to the children when they are 7 and am not sure what the situation would then in terms of me logging in, as my eldest is only six, but currently my children's accounts do what you would want them to.

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 12:35:12

Oh, one last thing though. He used to be named on his daughter's savings account but was removed once she hit 12. Can he go back on, or will they say it's a children's account only? Presumably there are tax implications if he's seen as the 'owner' of the money in any way?

Rockchick1984 Thu 28-Feb-13 13:08:55

Just had a look on co-OPK's website for you - if they aren't already set up this way your DH may need to open new accounts but HERE says he can open savings accounts in his name for them - there wouldn't be tax implications as long as the money is held for them even if it's your DH who has access to the money.

Rockchick1984 Thu 28-Feb-13 13:09:27

Clearly should be Co-Op on the first line grin

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 15:01:47

Thanks. It's a bit unclear on whether BOTH the adult and the child can be account holders, which is what these trustees are insisting on, but I'll give them a ring. I think the Bonus accounts are what they already have.

Janek, thanks. Our problem is that we need the accounts to do things that children's accounts don't normally do! But if you're able to transfer money electronically, that's a good sign.

Rockchick1984 Thu 28-Feb-13 15:57:01

The accounts seem to be similar to ones we used to do where I worked so if parent wants full control the account would be in the name of "DH in trust for DC" which is probably as close as they will get to a joint account (basically the money is the DC's but the account is run by DH)

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 16:31:08

I've called them and no internet access at all for him. It means visiting a branch every month and withdrawing all the money to put straight into his own account. So bloody nonsensical and just want you want to be doing when you have a full time job and four children including a newborn, a toddler and a severely disabled child.

Rockchick1984 Thu 28-Feb-13 16:41:13

Could he do transactions over the phone rather than online?

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 16:42:54

I don't think so. They said withdrawals had to be made in branch. I don't think you can set phone banking up for these accounts.

lougle Thu 28-Feb-13 16:55:50

What about the Nationwide Smart Saver?

He can open them on the children's behalf.

RobotHamster Thu 28-Feb-13 17:00:20

Try Lloyds - I have no idea if you'll be able to view the childrens accounts on there, but I can view everything I have with them (all loans/credit cards/ISA's etc), and their online banking is very good, so I'd ring them and see if it's possible to do it with them.

All our stuff was through them when we were kids and I vaguely remember transfers happening to parents accounts. Worth atry.

Luvvies Thu 28-Feb-13 17:03:51

Could they set up a regular standing order to go from child's account into his?

Like Janek I have co-op accounts for my DD. I'm allowed to sign until she is of an age to be responsble, and there are limits around what can and can't be done.

Might be worth checking their Future Fund and Bonus Account options?

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 17:13:42

Thanks, that looked promising. But when I phoned, the phone and Internet banking doesn't allow withdrawals or payments. Withdrawals are only via the branch and with 30 days' notice!

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 17:14:46

I already have, MrsC. No withdrawals other than via the branch. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Sorry, Stiffy - I skimmed through your post. Sounds like a nightmare. I can only suggest meeting with a bank or two and outlining the situation. They may be able to come up with a solution that is workable. However, that's dependent on your or DH having the free time to go to such a meeting. sad

KatieMiddleton Thu 28-Feb-13 17:28:51

It is unlikely there is a currant account that can be opened jointly with all the necessary functionality you require.

However, it should be possible to open accounts in each child's name which your husband is the trustee for (ie the money belongs to the children but he operates it).

Santander <spits> actually have good online banking and apps and I think it's possible to get the childen's accounts to show with your husband's other accounts. He may need to open a current account (so 3 x accounts in total) but he could then make instant transfers from the savings into the current account and do what he needs to.

lljkk Thu 28-Feb-13 17:42:33

Can you even get a regular account going that has payment facilities, etc., without a regular salary paid into it?

Assuming yes to my last query, Why can't OP's husband open regular accounts in his name but with understanding which account is for which child. As long as OP's husband copies all bank statements to the trustees and accounts for how every penny was spent, wouldn't that meet the demands of the trustees?

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 17:48:34

I doubt it, MrsC. I'm guessing there are rules on this sort of thing! I think the response we need to try is 'we can find no bank that offers current accounts to which an adult and child can be account holders. The withdrawal restrictions around children's savings accounts make them unsuitable in meeting the children's needs. Our client is happy to sign an appropriate indemnity regarding use of the money if paid into his bank account'. That's reasonable, right?

Not that they live in the land of reasonable!

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 17:54:46

I'm willing to try Santander but I'm not hugely hopeful.

The problem with sending them bank statements is that the money won't actually be being spent from those accounts. The money will be used to contribute towards our household costs and it is utterly impractical to make payments for, say, the weekly shopping from three different accounts. The trustees don't have kids and live in a world where we're using the money to buy one-off items for them. Yes, sometimes we would, but in general the money goes towards things rather than being discrete expenditure. The money is obviously being used for the benefit of the children as it should be. We have in the past provided a narrative summary of what we have spent the money on but they have never referred to that or questioned it.

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 17:56:27

Also they are insisting the children's names are on the account. Basically all this is an attempt not to pay the money if they possibly can. So every possible obstacle is being put in place. It has taken us three years of legal wrangling to get them this far.

Rockchick1984 Thu 28-Feb-13 18:06:39

Stiffy have you consulted a solicitor, if they are being so difficult then surely that is going against the wishes of the person who left the money in trust? Even posting in legal matters on here may get you an answer, there's lots of solicitors who happily answer questions on there smile

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 18:12:38

We have a solicitor already. The trustees are carrying out the legator's wishes to the letter. It is my husband's ex-wife and she told them he shouldn't see a penny of the money. That's our problem. The pair of them have had to be expensively and slowly shown that their duty as trustees is to the children and not their mother.

StiffyByng Thu 28-Feb-13 18:16:28

They are also refusing to provide any maintenance at all until they have 'proof' that my stepdaughter, who has a life-limiting condition, is 'still ill'. They have had letters from her consultant in the past but are demanding another. Another insulting stalling tactic.

lljkk Fri 01-Mar-13 07:10:27

I guess I would propose that I'd withdrawn in units of £100 (or some expected budget/month) and I would provide a monthly itemised list on how it was spent. (So much ridiculous paperwork)

If you need to contribute 10% of the household heating, or 10% of the food bill, something like that, then you need to get that % agreed in writing ahead of time.

Trustees do sound extremely unreasonable. sad
Are trustees taking an annual income from the trust, what purposes was the trustee set up for?
Do you actually suspect them of trying to hold onto a larger fund for longer in order to make more income?

You could sue them on behalf of the DC. But first you have to create lots of paperwork to show that you have tried hard to accommodate all of their requests. So you need printouts of the account T&C for all the banks you've tried to contact about the type of account they try to insist that you have. To show that no such account exists and write trustees letters asking them to find such a bank account since you have asked X many banks and not found anything yet; save copies of your letters sent and letters they did or didn't send in reply.

StiffyByng Fri 01-Mar-13 09:53:04

Oh, they are a nightmare. They won't really agree the principle that the money will go towards general expenses but any sort of proper discussion is impossible. Every minor agreement takes months, and several solicitor's letters on each side, which is costing us all a fortune.

The trust is for the money the children's mother left them. She was unfortunately not in a position to put their needs first (mental illness) so all her instructions are about my husband not having any of the money rather than positive things for them to do with it. For a long time they refused to pay anything at all. They are friends of hers who don't know my husband and have only got the rather delusional things she said about him to go on. She had alienated her own family and all her longstanding friends sadly.

Our solicitor is trying to get them to agree to remove themselves but I can't imagine they will. We need to decide whether or not to go to court. In the meantime

TomArchersSausage Fri 01-Mar-13 10:01:23

Not sure if any help, but we've just opened accounts for our three dc with Santander and can set up a direct debit to pay money into them. They get a cash card (no overdraft).

StiffyByng Fri 01-Mar-13 15:31:42

Thanks, Sausages. Sadly they also have online banking.

StiffyByng Fri 01-Mar-13 15:32:01

+ no, obviously.

galbers Sun 10-Mar-13 15:21:01

I have an RBS current account (not my main account but one I keep a bit in to run the other two) and both children (ages 12 and 16 now (RBS revolve from 11 yrs) have their own current accounts with debit cards . They both signed third party mandates and so I can access all three accounts from one log on. I could take money out if needed I can do all banking transactions from their accounts. They both have their own debit cards. You could do something like this.

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