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can a child saving account be abused?

(7 Posts)
vannah Tue 07-Dec-10 10:05:37

This is a bizzare question, if anyone has any advice I'd be very grateful as the bank concerned are not helping.

My mother-in-law is an awful woman who is over £100,000 in debt. She has been caught out for years of benefit fraud. She clocked up the debts by taking out every store card imaginable and buying designer items everyday. She eventually found a sympathetic/ legal person to write her off as mentally ill and now only pays £2 a month off toward her debt. She continues to spend lavishly by taking out cards in her daughter's name (who now lives abroad)

A few years ago she took my son's passport and details to apparently set up a 'savings' account for him. (She has NO concept of saving). I was too busy at the time to be concerned but recently remembered that she has this account. Can it be abused?
Realise Im paranoid here but can she take out card in his name? Or over-withdraw money leaving us with debts when she dies?

And furthermore does anyone know whether or not my husband will be left with her debts when she dies?


Chil1234 Tue 07-Dec-10 10:54:33

If she's set up an account in his name but has herself as the account holder (which is what a lot of parents do for children under 16) then she would be able to withdraw money from it. If your son is still under 18 then she won't be able to get credit or overdrafts this way. If he's over 18, however, then she could potentially try to take out cards in his name. In which case it would be worth doing an Experian or other credit check and seeing if there is anything outstanding.

Debts are usually settled out of the estate and the rest goes to next of kin. If there isn't enough to cover then they are written off. Sounds like a terrible story... could you report her to the police for the CC fraud?

vannah Wed 08-Dec-10 11:48:51

Hello Chil, thankyou for the helpful reply. Thats a relief -he is only 5.

sorry to sound dim but I'm not sure Ive fully understood:

"Debts are usually settled out of the estate and the rest goes to next of kin."

She doesnt have a husband - so her next of kin is my husband!! Does that mean he would be liable? PAnic....

QuintessentialShadows Wed 08-Dec-10 11:51:34

vannah, he could be. Could you speak to CAB about your concerns?

vannah Wed 08-Dec-10 11:57:51

oh dear...looking up nearest one now..

suzikettles Wed 08-Dec-10 12:01:49

I think you've misunderstood vannah - when Chil said "the rest goes to the next of kin" she meant any money left over once the debts have been paid.

Your husband will not be liable for any of his mother's debts unless he has taken out a joint loan/card etc with her.

It sounds highly unlikely given what you've said that there would be any estate left to inherit but that's obviously the least of your worries.

I repeat though, he's not liable for her debts.

vannah Wed 08-Dec-10 12:10:53

Phew...had a real moment of panic there. Thanks suzikettles that makes sense.

And yes, there's absolutely no inheritance to speak of whatsoever. She lives in a council flat and claims every benefit possible.

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