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.

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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 their finances. Initially there can be joint control of the accounts – either can pay bills, transfer money or withdraw cash (although only one of you will be able to hold the account card, passbook or chequebook). Full management of accounts will only pass over to the Attorney if the account holder loses their mental capacity.

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

This needs to be specified by the account holder. They will decide what you can do on their accounts, and which accounts their attorneys would have access to.

As an attorney, you can never run up an overdraft or get the account holder into any debt. Here's what you can do:

Savings and current accounts

The account holder can specify what you can do on their savings or current accounts, and which accounts you have access to. They can agree that you can write cheques and withdraw cash, use a debit card and make payments and transfers. You can also close accounts for which you've been given permission.

We can only give one of you a passbook, chequebook or debit card (if the account comes with these), so you need to decide which one of you will have them. We’ll only send your account holders statements to one address, so they will need to decide whose address to use for this.

Credit cards

You can make payments to the account holders credit card and help to manage it on their behalf but you can’t use their credit card to buy anything.


You can make payments to their mortgage and help to manage it on their behalf, but you can’t borrow more money.

Remember, as an attorney, whenever you come into the branch, you must bring proof of your 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 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. 

The process differs according to where you live:

Safeguarding accounts

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 either you or your account holder about them.

Want to learn more about how we tackle fraud?

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