How You Can Set Up Power of Attorney

In England and Wales, there are two types of Power of Attorney; one is for Financial Decisions, and one is for Health and Care matters.  

If you are setting up both types, you will need to submit a separate application for each. 

In Scotland you can choose from a third Power of Attorney option, which is a combination of the two, but we stress, not in England or Wales. 

The first step is to choose somebody to act on your behalf. This could be a family member, or members, a trusted friend or acquaintances, or even a professional advisor. 

You can select more than one person, and you can have different attorneys to look after decisions about your money or health. Before you appoint anybody, you must discuss it with them, first to check if they are happy with this responsibility, if you have joint attorneys, you can request they act jointly or severally, this means they both do not have to be present to sign off every cash withdrawal. You then need to complete the forms, which can be produced digitally, but they are long forms. 

You will need to provide personal information, and the details of those you want to appoint as attorney or attorneys. 

You can add extra instructions, specifying how you want your investments to be managed for example. Any restrictions you include maybe rejected in the future if they are not practical. 

You must sign your Power of Attorney before anybody else, and there must be an independent witness present, who needs to sign straight after you. 

Next, someone you have known for at least two years, who is not a member of you or your attorneys family, must sign the form to vouch you are of sound mind. 

This certificate can be given by us, as we are duly authorised to do so.  

Finally your attorney’s must sign the forms in the presence of witnesses. 

You also have to serve a notice on a third person, notifying that you are entering into the Powers of Attorney. We often recommend another close friend who has known you for sometime, or your doctor, as they are used to receiving such notices. 

This is to protect you and the attorneys, to make sure that nobody objects to you entering into the Powers of Attorneys. 

There is then a registration process with The Office of the Public Guardians.  

Currently The Office of the Public Guardians, are indicating that they will deal with the registration of the Powers of Attorney within 8 weeks (two months). Form our experience they are taking considerably longer, and up to 4 months to register the most basic of attorneys. This should be borne in mind, when you wish to make one.  

There is no longer a procedure where by you can expedite the registration. 

The attorneys are only valid in law, once they have been validated and returned by The Office of the Public Guardians. 

These documents are important, and should be kept safely. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us.