Powers of Attorney
Power of Attorney
Give others authority to act on your behalf
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorises others - known as your attorney or attorneys - to act on your behalf. There are several types of Power of Attorney and the one you need depends on your circumstances and what you want it to cover. You may need more than one type. A Power of Attorney must be created while you are able to make decisions and understand what you're doing.
In England and Wales, a doctor, solicitor, social worker, friend or colleague who you've known for at least two years, and is aged over 18, must also sign to confirm you've made the decision without pressure. In Scotland, only a solicitor registered to practise law in Scotland or a registered UK doctor can be the secondary signatory. In Northern Ireland, you do not have to register an Enduring Power of Attorney until the donor has lost capacity.
There are different types of Power of Attorneys to choose from depending on your requirements, where you live, and where you have assets. Generally, you can choose one that will cover your health and personal welfare decisions or one that will cover your financial decisions - or you can choose to have both.
Please read the notes below on Power of Attorney for the region you live in, and/or have assets in, or use our Power of Attorney selector tool to find the right choice for you.
Choosing your attorney
Because you may be signing over decisions about your assets and finances, and how you will be cared for if you lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions, choosing your attorney needs careful thought.
Your attorney(s) must be trustworthy, organised, and willing. They must be aged 18 years or older (16 in Scotland) and have the mental capacity to make decisions about what's best for you. They can be family, friends, a spouse or partner, or a solicitor. In some cases, someone who is bankrupt may be barred from acting as an attorney involving financial affairs.
You should discuss the duties and responsibility involved with those you have in mind before deciding.
Guidance and review when writing your Power of Attorney
Our 'Self Service & Legal Review' option enables you to have your document reviewed by one of our wills specialists to provide extra peace of mind. You can also call or email our wills specialists with any questions you may have as you complete your forms. Our Power of Attorney service includes guidance notes on what to do and to consider when completing your Power of Attorney. We also advise our customers to refer to the Office of the Public Guardian's guidance notes. Scottish customers should refer to the guidance notes provided by Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) and customers from Northern Ireland should refer to the guidance notes provided by Department of Justice (Northern Ireland) .
How do you want your attorneys to act?
If you choose more than one attorney, you must decide how you want them to act. You can say they should act jointly or jointly and severally:
- Acting jointly means they must always agree all decisions.
- Acting jointly and severally means they can act together but can also act on their own.
- Acting jointly for some decisions and jointly and severally for other decisions (This option is not available on our forms for Scotland, please refer to the Office of the Public Guardian Scotland)
Registering your Power of Attorney
Before your attorneys can use a power of attorney it must be registered, and this process can take anywhere between four and ten weeks. (In Northern Ireland you do not have to register an Enduring Power of Attorney until the donor has lost capacity).
- In England, register with the Office of the Public Guardian
- In Scotland, with the Office of the Public Guardian in Scotland
- In Northern Ireland, with the Office of Care and Protection.
What if it's too late to create a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If someone no longer has the mental capacity to make their own decisions, then they won't be able to make a power of attorney. In England and Wales you will need to apply to the Court of Protection. In Scotland to the nearest Sheriff Court, for a 'Guardianship Order' and in Northern Ireland you will need to apply to the Office of Care and Protection for a 'Controllership Order'.
|Self Service *||Self Service &
Legal Review **
|Powers of Attorney|
Nominate up to six people and/or a trust corporation to be your attorneys and make decisions about your property and financial affairs in the event that you can no longer do so yourself.Learn more
|NA||£139 Buy now|
Nominate up to six people to act as your attorney(s) and make decisions about your health and social welfare in the event that you can no longer do so yourself.Learn more
|NA||£139 Buy now|
Use this pack to appoint someone as your attorney to look after your financial affairs and health and social needs in the event that you become unable to do so yourself.Learn more
|NA||£139 Buy now|
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) allows you to appoint someone to act as your attorney to manage your affairs if you become unable to manage them yourself or communicate.Learn more
|NA||£139 Buy now|
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* Please note that for documents marked N/A, you may be able to get them for free from the Office of the Public Guardian - Scotland, or, The Office of Care and Protection (N.Ireland) as applicable.
** The legal review involves our wills specialists reviewing the answers you provided when completing your document questionnaire and provides comfort that if you properly execute or sign your document it will comply with legal formalities and meet the requirements you specified.