M. et Mme vs M. ou Mme

Just a heads up to people out there. I heard of a case today of a couple where one has recently died and the survivor is having trouble with the bank because the account is labelled M. ET Mme xxxx. That means that both signatories must sign any document and not one alone, so the survivor is having problems accessing money etc., until legal procedures take their course. If the account had been M. OU Mme then it means only one signatory is needed, either of them, and of course the survivor has full access to the account and more flexibility.

So, take a look at your cheque book today. A ten minute with your local branch to get things in order might save a lot of hassle and heartache at a later, more stressful time ...

You, as a stranger, might well have had it explained but I'm betting there are loads of couples who have had accounts like this since they were married. Our friend was about 50 when he died, had probably had the A/C for 30 years & was certainly not stupid. I guess he just didn't figure on getting hit by a 99 bus so soon ! Don't forget also that 30 years ago there were few laws on culpability so I doubt things weren't explained too well then. What do you want? joint or individual? Right oh then! there you go, the A/Cs open!!!

Our youngish French friends also knew that two signatures were needed but none the less it came as a shock when He died suddenly & She couldn't get any money from the bank for ages. Definitely worth flagging up as She assumed it would be OK to get some money out as He obviously couldn't sign a cheque. What do the banks think one should do ? Hold a séance ?

possibly, but it's worth flagging up.