Lasting Power of Attorney

Getting long-term support with your finances

A Lasting Power of Attorney allows family, friends or a professional person such as a solicitor to support you in managing your finances. These people are known as attorneys. If a time comes when you are unable to work with your attorneys to manage your money, a Lasting Power of Attorney means your attorneys will be able to take care of your long term financial decisions in your best interests.

You can only arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney while you still have the mental capacity to do so. If you don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney and you eventually lose mental capacity, a Court of Protection will be needed.

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How does a Lasting Power of Attorney work?

A Lasting Power of Attorney gives someone, known as your attorney, the ability to help you look after your finances. Initially you’ll have joint control of your accounts – either of you can pay bills, transfer money or withdraw cash. Full management of your accounts will only pass over to your attorney if you lose your mental capacity.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: Property and Financial Affairs or Health and Welfare. You can get one or both, but you’ll only need the Property and Financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney to manage your Nationwide accounts.

Who can be your attorney?

Your attorney can be a friend, relative or professional person such as a solicitor or accountant. They must be over 18 (in Scotland it's 16), and you can have more than one attorney.

If you do want to appoint more than one attorney, you need to specify whether they are to act:


  • Jointly – this means that your attorneys must all sign for transactions and make joint decisions and they cannot act independently of each other
  • Jointly and severally – this means that your attorneys can make decisions either on their own or with other attorneys.

You can state that attorneys act jointly in some matters and jointly and severally in others.

Each attorney will be required to attend their nearest branch with their ID before they are able to use the account.

What can my attorney do?

You can specify what your attorney can do on your accounts, and which accounts they have access to.

Your attorney can never run up an overdraft or get you into any debt. Here's what they can do:

Savings and current accounts

You can specify what your attorney can do on your savings or current accounts, and which accounts they have access to. They can write cheques and withdraw cash, use a debit card and make payments and transfers. They can also close accounts on your behalf.

When you have an attorney on your account, we can only give one of you the passbook, chequebook or debit card (if your account comes with these), so you need to decide which one of you will have them. We’ll only send your statements to one address.

Credit cards

Your attorney can make payments to your credit card and help to manage it on your behalf but they can’t use your credit card to buy anything.

Mortgages

Your attorney can make payments to your mortgage and help to manage it on your behalf, but they can’t borrow more money.

Remember, whenever your attorney comes into the branch, they must bring proof of ID.

Is the Lasting Power of Attorney the same all over the UK?

No, it isn’t. Lasting Power of Attorney differs depending on where you live in the UK.

In England and Wales there used to be an Enduring Power of Attorney – but this was replaced by the Lasting Power of Attorney in 2007. However, if you arranged your Enduring Power of Attorney before 2007, you can still use it to manage your accounts.

Getting your Lasting Power of Attorney documents

Once you’ve chosen someone to be your attorney, you need to create and register your Lasting Power of Attorney documents. The forms can be complicated, so you may want to ask a solicitor to help you. Once you’ve applied, it takes around 10 weeks to register. 

The process differs according to where you live:

Safeguarding your accounts

It's very important that you only give a Lasting Power of Attorney to someone you trust. You need to be sure they will act in your best interests, because you're allowing them to carry out transactions on your behalf, for which you will be responsible until such time as you have lost mental capacity.

We may sometimes check transactions where we're concerned about them, such as large withdrawals or where there are a lot of withdrawals in a short space of time. These checks may mean we refuse transactions or contact you about them.

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Power of Attorney Helpdesk
0800 464 30 18
(Mon to Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat: 9am - 12pm).