What kind of help can I provide?

Third party mandate

General power of attorney

Lasting power of attorney

Court of protection order

Court of protection order

If a friend or relative isn't able to make decisions about their own financial affairs, and a lasting or enduring power of attorney isn't in place, a court of protection order might be used. 

What is a court of protection order?

A court of protection order is a legal document from the court appointing someone else (a deputy) to make decisions for someone who has lost their mental capacity. The court decides who to give responsibility to, and will supervise the deputies to make sure the account holder's interests are handled correctly.

In Scotland you would apply for a guardianship order, and in Northern Ireland it is a controllership. There may be slightly different procedures relating to these documents, and so you should speak to the relevant office in your jurisdiction if you aren't sure about anything.

The court you apply to depends on where you live:

In England and Wales, or Scotland, you may be given an interim or emergency court order to help with what’s known as a one-off decision in England and Wales, or an intervention order in Scotland.

When might a court of protection order be used?

A court of protection order might be used if:

  • A loved one has lost the mental capacity to make financial decisions and doesn't have a lasting or enduring power of attorney in place appointing anyone to do so on their behalf.
  • A teenager in your care is approaching their 18th birthday and doesn’t have the mental capacity to make financial decisions.

Further information

Read Register a court of protection order for more on what you need to do.

Who can apply to be a deputy, guardian or controller?

Anyone can apply to be appointed as a person’s deputy, although usually it will be close friends or family making an application. The rules on how to apply vary depending on where you live. Find out how to apply to become a:

Where there's more than one person appointed by the court

The court will tell you both how to make decisions, either:

  • Separately or together (known as 'jointly and severally') – deputies can make decisions independently or with other deputies, or
  • Together (known as 'jointly') – deputies have to agree on decisions together.

Your duty as a court appointed deputy

There is guidance on how to make a decision and what you must not do.

You are supervised by the relevant authority where you live to make sure you carry out your duties correctly. You’ll need to keep reports and send them to the court annually. Find out the:

What might a deputy be able to do when managing an account?

Action
Court order
Cash withdrawal
Yes 
Cheque withdrawal
Yes
Bank transfer
Yes
Hold a debit card
If the account comes with a debit card, the customer's debit card(s) will be cancelled when the court order is registered with Nationwide. The deputy will be provided with the sole card  for each relevant account upon request.
Hold a credit card
You can manage down the debt of an existing credit card, but cannot spend on or open a new credit card.
Hold a cheque book
If the account comes with a cheque book, the customer's cheque book(s) will be cancelled when the court order is registered with Nationwide. The deputy will be provided with the sole cheque book for each relevant account upon request.
Access internet banking
If applicable to the account type, the deputy can be provided with Internet Bank details upon request.
Access telephone banking
No
Open a new account
Yes
Close an account
Yes
Manage a mortgage
Yes, the deputy is able to manage a donor's mortgage, including making repayments and opening a new account (only to reduce debt).

How do I change or end the court of protection order?

You’ll need to contact the relevant authority where you live if you want to:

Then you must let us know in writing.

How much does the court of protection order cost?

We don’t charge anything to register your order at Nationwide.

There are fees you must pay to the court, usually when you apply and for your annual supervision. Exact costs vary depending on circumstances, and they can apply discounts or exemptions.

There are different fees depending on where you live and who you apply to. Find out the: