Power of attorney

Power of attorney help and support

Power of attorney is a legal arrangement that lets you appoint someone to manage your financial affairs.

This can be important for people who are unable to manage their own finances, such as those who are ill or who have become mentally impaired.

Power of attorney terms defined

An attorney is a person appointed to look after the finances or property of another person.

A donor is a person who gives someone the authority to act on their behalf.

Attorneys can be people – often relatives – that the donor trusts, or professionals like solicitors. They can be individuals, but it is also possible for more than 1 person to be an attorney for a single donor. They must be over 18.

There are 3 ways for attorneys to act:

Solely – a single attorney is the only person who can act on behalf of the donor.

Jointly & Severally – Attorneys can act together or separately. If 1 attorney is no longer able to act, the other attorney can continue the arrangement.

Jointly – Attorneys must act together and cannot act separately. They cannot have any facilities that allow sole access on the account, such as telephone banking, online banking or debit cards. If 1 attorney is no longer able to act, a new arrangement will be required.

How to set up power of attorney

You can appoint someone to have power of attorney to make decisions purely about your property and financial affairs, or about your health and welfare, or both. We can only act on arrangements covering your property and financial affairs.

Power of attorney must first be registered with the appropriate legal authority. Which legal authority you need to register with will depend on where you live.

England and Wales
Since 1 October 2007, power of attorney in England and Wales has been provided under Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) arrangements.

The government gives more info about power of attorney in England and Wales

Northern Ireland
English or Welsh enduring power of attorneys (EPAs) are only valid if they were signed before 1 October 2007.
In Northern Ireland, EPAs are still used and valid irrespective of when they were signed.

The EPA only needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian when the attorney believes the donor is becoming, or has become, mentally incapable of handling his or her own financial affairs.

The government gives more info about enduring power of attorney in Northern Ireland

The Scottish equivalent of LPA is called Continuing/Combined (Scottish) Power of Attorney. It must be registered with the Court of Protection when first created.

You can find out more about power of attorney in Scotland from the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland)

If you need to apply for power of attorney for someone who has lost the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, you’ll need to obtain a Court of Protection Order. You can find details about how to go about this, and other arrangements such as Appointeeships on the government website

How to register power of attorney with us

Once you’ve arranged power of attorney with the appropriate government body, we can give your attorneys access to your accounts.

Find out more about registering power of attorney with us.

Useful resources

These links will take you to other websites that may provide further information, support and advice. We have no control over external websites and are not responsible for their content.

Office of the Public Guardian

Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland)


The Alzheimer's Society

Citizens Advice Bureau

Age UK

British Bankers Association

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