My mother is involved in a dispute with her recently deceased partners daughter, who is demanding to see records of the joint bank account she held with her partner. My mother acted as her partner's power of attorney the last 2 years of his life as he became mentally incapacitated, but the daughter seems to think she has right to see records not just after but even before he was deemed unfit to make financial decisions. My mother has nothing to hide, but obviously does not see what legal right she could possibly have to demand this, unless the daughter was accusing her of doing something illegal and went to court to aply for access. My thoughts are the daughter, as joint executor of her father's will, along with my mother, only has the right to see her fathers sole bank accounts, not joint accounts. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge on this? Thanks Lee
You might want to head on over to https://law.stackexchange.com/ and ask the same question.
However from a personal finance perspective this kind of drama is somewhat common when someone is deceased and financial expectations are not met by the heirs. It sounds like the daughter was expecting a lot more in inheritance than was actually received. There was probably an overestimation of dad's net worth and an underestimation of the cost of his care toward the end of his life.
Its best not to participate in this drama, and I feel that you are correct that the daughter does not have a right to see the bank account statements prior to dad's passage. The question is also if she has a right to see it now.
Here in the US a joint account can be setup so the ownership transfers to other account holder(s) up death of an owner. So in this case your mother would own the account. If the account is setup as such, then the estate has no right to that money. You may want to check with the bank for some free advice. What is the classification of the account now that dad has passed?
When a person grants someone else the power of attorney they have the ability to act as if they were that person. Most of the time POAs are limited in scope so If I give a person the POA to register a car in my name, they cannot apply for a credit card in my name (legally). In this case, however, the POA was probably general so pretty much your mom could do whatever she pleased.
So if your mom took good care of the dad and bought herself some nice jewelry that is perfectly allowable with a general POA.
I strongly doubt this daughter has any rights to the past records and may not even have the rights to the joint bank account currently.