Setting up a power of attorney is actually a simple, stress-free process once you have the knowledge and resources made plain and simple for you.
This is what we’ve aimed to do in our ultimate guide to setting up a power of attorney. Here we’ll take you through the 5 steps you need to take to setting up a power of attorney.
First of all, it’s important to understand what a power of attorney is and the responsibilities that are involved.
What is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney is a formal document that gives another person legal authority to make decisions on your behalf.
Anybody over the age of 16 is allowed to make a power of attorney, and needs to be signed by a qualified solicitor who practices in law or your GP.
Having a power of attorney allows you to plan and shape the future in the way you want to, should you be unfortunate enough to make important decisions for yourself.
STEP 1 - Choosing a power of attorney.
It’s important to understand the limitations involved when choosing a power of attorney.
You can actually set up multiple power of attorney’s, but be sure that you think carefully and choose people that you can fully trust with such important decisions and tasks that lie ahead.
Here are a range of resources to help you properly understand what a power of attorney is plus the legal limitations and duties that are applicable to a power of attorney:
STEP 2 - Make your lasting power of attorney.
Now that you’ve discussed and carefully considered your choice, the next step is to make your Lasting Power of Attorney by filling in an LPA form online.
This form basically allows you to add certain restrictions on the decisions and actions your attorney makes.
You can download the form which includes full guidance over at the gov.uk website.
In the mean time, here are some other useful resources you need regarding lasting power of attorney:
STEP 3 - Gain legal advice for your LPA.
Many choose to skip this step, but it’s crucial that you get full support, set-up and professional advice from a solicitor regarding LPA.
Your attorneys won’t be able to act on your behalf until your Lasting Power of Attorney is registered with The Office of The Public Guardian (OPG).
The cost for registering is £110 although certain remissions are applicable for those receiving means tested benefits. Find out more about the OPG, fees and benefits of using a solicitor via these useful resources:
STEP 4 - Understanding enduring power of attorney.
Before LPA’s were introduced in 2007, you were able to have an unregistered Enduring Power of Attorney, which can still be used.
If your attorney believes you are becoming mentally weaker and unable to make important decisions, they will still need to register it.
If you’d like to replace your current unregistered EPA with an LPA, you’re able to revoke your EPA and have an LPA instead. But if your EPA is already registered, the permissions can only be revoked by the Court of Protection.
For a better understanding of the finer details involving EPA’s, take a look at these resources:
STEP 5 - Banks and Building Societies.
If you want to use a registered LPA or EPA with your bank or building society, they will require:
- Proof of address
- Power of Attorney document
- Proof of the account holders name and address
Certain banks may require your attorney to fill out an additional registration form along with keeping a copy of your Power of Attorney document.
Once this process is complete, your attorney will normally be able to access bank accounts both my telephone and online.
Here are some additional useful links regarding banks and building society policies:
If you feel your bank isn’t dealing with your POA in the correct way, you can make a formal complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.