In certain circumstances, it may be necessary for somebody else to manage an individual's account. If the account holder gives someone else the authority to do so, typically that person will have the same authority to manage the account as the owner.
Banks and building societies will always need to review specific documents before they can let you manage another person’s account. This will include proof of your name and address and evidence of your authority to act for the account holder.
The evidence of your authority will usually be a lasting power of attorney for property and financial affairs or a deputyship order.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) allows an individual (the donor) to assign another individual (the attorney) or persons to manage their finances and property. The donor must create the LPA, and they have the option of giving the attorney full authority immediately or only when the donor can no longer make decisions for themselves. Additionally, the donor can restrict how the attorney handles the account and include instructions in the LPA.
Before an LPA can be used, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Registering LPA does not mean that the donor has lost their decision-making capability, but the LPA will be able to be used at any time after it has been registered if the donor wishes an attorney to act on their behalf.
Court of Protection – court order or deputyship appointment
The Court of Protection in England and Wales safeguards the rights of individuals who lack the mental capacity to act on their own. When someone without the ability to make a power of attorney is unable to make decisions for themselves, the Court of Protection can determine who is best suited to handle their affairs.
In most cases, a dependable individual, such as a family member or friend, will make an application to the Court of Protection, asking for a court order that appoints them as a "deputy" for someone who lacks the mental capacity to make decisions. The court order will specify what decisions the deputy is authorised to make on the person's behalf. If appointed as a deputy, it is necessary to contact the person's bank or building society so they can make the necessary arrangements.
The paperwork and costs of an application for a deputyship order are, of course, greater that for preparing an LPA. It is always better to consider making an LPA so that you have the ability to choose who you wish to appoint as your attorney and the powers you are giving them.
How we can help
We recommend that everyone considers putting a Power of Attorney in place to safeguard their affairs. They are great tools for succession planning and cover property & finance, and health & welfare. To find out more, or for support with putting in place a Power of Attorney, please contact our dedicated Later Life Planning team who will be happy to help.