There may be times now or in the future when you or someone close to you needs support with managing finances.
There are several options which may help. If you would like to discuss third-party access or which type of power of attorney may be best for you now and long-term, your relationship manager will be happy to provide advice and support for your circumstances.
Third-party access allows you to appoint a trusted person to carry out your day-to-day banking needs. This could be a family member or a close friend; this is usually a temporary solution such as during periods of illness, a hospital stay, or being abroad for up to a year. There are certain things the appointed person would not be able to do, and this arrangement is only valid while the person appointing access has mental capacity and is able to make decisions for themselves.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. There are different types of POA for different needs:
General or Ordinary Power of Attorney
A General or Ordinary Power of Attorney allows your appointed attorney the legal right to handle your financial affairs and is valid while you have mental capacity. It is suitable for a short-term or temporary period, such as hospital stay or a holiday.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
A Lasting Power of Attorney allows your appointed attorney to make decisions about your affairs if you ever lose the mental capacity to do so yourself. A LPA should be set up while you are of sound mind, so that you are covered in the future. Many people choose to set up a LPA when they believe they may be losing the ability to make their own decisions.
When you set up a LPA, it allows you to continue living your life with some degree of control over your decisions through your attorneys.
There are two types of LPA available in the UK:
- Health and Welfare
- Property and Financial Affairs
A LPA allows you to appoint a trustworthy attorney that has your best interests at heart. It also gives you peace of mind that your finances and wellbeing will be taken care of. The LPA will be valid as soon as it is registered.
Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)
EPAs were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) on 1 October 2007. An existing EPA is still valid if it was signed prior to 1 October 2007 and can be initiated if you lose mental capacity or would like your attorney to act on your behalf. Please refer to page 27 of Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) guidance here for more information.
You and your attorneys must have mental capacity to make a POA and be 18 or over. POA’s are often prepared by a solicitor, or you can complete the relevant forms and find further information on the Government’s website. A POA needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used by us.
There is a different process in Scotland: http://www.publicguardian-scotland.gov.uk/power-of-attorney and Northern Ireland: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/managing-your-affairs-and-enduring-power-of-attorney
Court of Protection
A Court of Protection (CoP) order (Guardianship in Scotland or Controllership in Northern Ireland) decides on financial or welfare matters for people who can no longer do so themselves because of mental incapacity. This could be due to serious brain injury or illness, or if they have dementia. The CoP authorises deputies to make decisions on behalf of the person needing help (the donor).
The application can be a lengthy process for deputies. The court will need to make sure it is safeguarding those people who can no longer manage or look after their own affairs.
Registering your POA with us
If you would like to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf, you will need to have a Property and Financial Affairs POA in place. This authorises the attorney to manage your affairs with us, such as bank accounts, investments, pensions, property and bills.
You can find out more about how to complete this process on the Government website here.
When can a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)?
The OPG recommend registering a LPA with them as soon as it has been signed correctly to avoid any delay. It usually takes about five months.
When can an attorney make decisions?
An attorney can only make decisions on behalf of the donor once the Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), unless the donor states that they do not want the attorney to act until they have lost mental capacity.
What does ‘jointly’ and ‘jointly and severally ‘mean?
The donor can appoint more than one attorney and must specify whether they are to act ‘jointly’ (i.e., together) or ‘jointly and severally’ (i.e. together or individually). It is worth noting that if attorneys are appointed to act ‘jointly’ we are unable to issue a card attached to the account. If, on the other hand, attorneys are appointed to act ‘jointly and severally’, the donor would be able to choose and appoint one of their attorneys to have access to a card if required. Often, one attorney will act as the lead with the other(s) in reserve when needed.
Can an attorney’s powers be restricted?
Yes, within the Lasting Power of Attorney restrictions can be placed on how an attorney acts on the donor’s behalf.
Can attorneys manage my investments?
If you have a discretionary managed investment portfolio, additional wording is required in the POA. In these cases, you could use the following wording suggested by the OPG:
‘My attorney(s) may transfer my investments into a discretionary management scheme. Or, if I already had investments in a discretionary management scheme before I lost capacity to make financial decisions, I want the scheme to continue. I understand in both cases that managers of the scheme will make investment decisions and my investments will be held in their names or the names of their nominees.’
If you need your attorneys to manage your investments and your POA does not have this wording included, it is possible for an indemnity to be signed alongside the POA. Please ask your relationship manager for more information about this.
What happens if I lose mental capacity and do not have a POA in place?
If you no longer have mental capacity to make decisions about your finances, a deputy may be appointed to manage your affairs through the Court of Protection.
When do attorney powers cease?
An attorney’s powers cease only if they become bankrupt, lose their capacity, or if they die. Their authority also ceases on the death of the donor.
Your relationship manager is on hand to support you and to help you with any questions you may have.
Summary of third-party access
|Type of access
|Country where account is registered
|Suitable if you have mental capacity?
|Online banking access
|General/Ordinary Power of Attorney
|If you want a trusted person to look after your finances as you may become ill, will be in hospital for a period of time, or will be travelling abroad, this may be an option for you.
|Enduring Power of Attorney
Enduring Power of Attorney - EPA (England, Wales)
Enduring Power of Attorney – EPA (Northern Ireland)
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland
|Lasting Power of Attorney
|This option will allow someone to help manage your finances including your bank accounts, either before or after you lose mental capacity. The LPA must be registered with The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used.
|England & Wales
|Continuing Power of Attorney
|This option will allow someone to help manage your finances including your bank accounts either before or after you lose mental and or physical capacity.The CPA has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) – Scotland before it can be used.
|If you lose mental capacity, someone can apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order to manage your bank accounts and other matters. The deputyship order will say what the person (deputy) can do.
|England & Wales
|If you lose mental capacity, someone can apply to the Sheriff Court for a guardianship order to manage your bank accounts and other matters.The guardianship order will say what the person (guardian) can do.
|If you lose mental capacity someone can apply to the High Court for a controllership order to manage your bank accounts and other matters.The controllership order will say what the person (controller) can do.
|This is a formal instruction from you to us. It tells us that you would like another party to have access to your account(s) to carry out everyday banking transactions, such as making payments, or just to allow disclosure of account information on your banking and/or savings account(s). The third-party can also have a debit card to help you with your shopping. This mandate can cover all of your banking and/or savings accounts or just specific accounts as requested by you.
We can help you understand your current financial position and how to take control of your financial future.