A Power of Attorney is a legal process where a person can hand over to someone else the power to decide what is done with their financial affairs.
The person who is appointed as their legal representative is known as the attorney. The attorney operates the savings account on behalf of the investor. The attorney can have general authority, meaning they can do everything a person can do, or they can be restricted so they only deal with certain aspects of their affairs, such as finances.
If more than one attorney is appointed they can act jointly, meaning both must sign for withdrawals. Alternatively they can act “jointly and severally”; meaning either can sign for withdrawals.
Having granted the POA, there is still nothing to stop the member continuing to manage their own affairs along with the attorney, or instead of them, as long as they still have the capacity to do so.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can be used by a donor to appoint someone or a number of people to make decisions about their property & affairs and personal welfare & healthcare in the event that they lack the capacity to make their own decisions.
When applying for an LPA, there are two types of forms:
The attorney cannot act under an LPA unless it is registered with the Public Guardianship Office and all pages of the LPA are stamped by the PGO.
Either the member or the attorney can apply to register the LPA with the Public Guardianship Office. The application can be made prior to the onset of the member’s capacity. The donor can carry on making decisions, provided he/she has the capacity to do so.
If a person becomes mentally incapable of managing their own affairs and doesn’t have a POA in place, the Court of Protection, part of the Public Guardianship Office, will take on this duty for them. An application is made to the COP for a Receiver to be appointed.
A COP will be granted appointing either a relative or another suitable person as receiver to operate their affairs.
If an Enduring POA exists, the attorney must register this with the Court of Protection. They must inform the person and at least 3 relatives that they are doing this.
If we are informed that a Court of Protection has been applied for on behalf of a customer we must place an alert on the account – ‘No withdrawals’ until the COP is received. Cheque withdrawals to pay utility bills in the customer’s name are allowed, any other withdrawals must be referred to the Branch Manager.
Once registered the Enduring POA is returned with a COP stamp. The attorney will have a Court Receivership Order or a “Short Order For Cases Now Exceeding £16k”. Both these documents carry the official seals of the court.
If you have any queries then please give us a call on 01623 676350 or visit your local branch.