Lasting Power of Attorney

Giving someone long term support with their finances

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

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

Already got a Lasting Power of Attorney?

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How does a Lasting Power of Attorney work?

A Lasting Power of Attorney gives attorneys the ability to help account holders look after your finances. Initially there can be joint control of the accounts – either can pay bills, transfer money or withdraw cash – either of you can pay bills, transfer money or withdraw cash. Full management of accounts will only pass over to the attorney if the account holder loses their mental capacity.

Only one card is available on an account. However, if the account comes with a chequebook, the account holder can order more than one chequebook for the attorneys.

Just so you know, the account holder’s cheque book is not cancelled automatically, they'll need to let us know if they want to do this.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: Property and Financial Affairs or Health and Welfare. Account holders only need the Property and Financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney to manage Nationwide accounts.

Who can be an attorney?

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

If account holders want to appoint more than one attorney, they’ll need to specify whether attorneys are to act:


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

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

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

What you can do as an attorney

The donor (the account holder) will decide what you can do as an attorney when they make the power of attorney arrangement. This can include:

Cards and chequebooks.

If we issue you a card, we’ll need to cancel the one held by the donor. That’s because there can only ever be one card in use. However, you can both hold chequebooks. You or the donor will need to let us know if you want the donor's cheque book to be cancelled.

Statements

When a Lasting Power of Attorney is registered with us, you or the donor can choose which address you’d like all future mailings to go to.

Savings account statements can only be sent to this address.

However, current account statements can be sent to more than one address, so you and the donor, and any other attorneys if there’s more than one, can receive them.

Online access

If the donor is unable to use online banking, we will consider providing you with online banking access. Please contact us so that we can talk through and assess the situation with you.

Credit cards

You can manage the account holder’s card and make repayments to it.

Mortgage

You can make payments to the account holder’s mortgage and help to manage it on their behalf.

A power of attorney agreement allows an attorney to deal with the donor’s mortgage and property, unless they have stated otherwise within the document. Please talk to us to find out more.

What you’re not allowed to do

As an attorney you are not allowed to:

  • Run up an overdraft on the donor's account
  • Make payments using the donor's credit card
  • Take out a loan in the donor's name.

Safeguarding and security

You must always act in the donor’s best interests. For their protection, we may sometimes refuse transactions or contact the Office of the Public Guardian to discuss them.

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 the account holder arranged their Enduring Power of Attorney before 2007, it can still be used to manage their accounts.

Getting Lasting Power of Attorney documents

Once the account holder has chosen someone to be their attorney, they will need to create and register the Lasting Power of Attorney documents. The forms can be complicated, so they may want to ask a solicitor to help them. Once they've applied, it takes around 10 weeks to register. 

Find out more

Power of attorney helpdesk

0800 464 30 18 (UK)

Useful information

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Saturday: 9am - 12pm

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