Power of Attorney

In summary

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people as an ‘Attorney’ to make decisions on your behalf, helping you to feel safe and secure in the knowledge that your wishes will be carried out.

  • Power of Attorneys allow you to document your wishes in relation to your property and financial affairs as well as your health and welfare.
  • You can only make a Power of Attorney while you have the mental capacity to do so.
  • You choose the people you want to make these decisions, and indicate how you want them to be made.
  • Attorneys can make decisions for you when you no longer wish to or if you choose a Lasting or Continuing power, when you lack the mental capacity to do so.
  • If you become mentally incapacitated without a Power of Attorney in place your family or friends would need to apply to the Court of Protection for a court order, which is a lengthy and expensive process and must be completed before anyone can deal with your affairs.
  • Documents differ between England and Wales and Scotland, please see the relevant section below. Currently we do not offer this service for Northern Ireland.

As some of the terms we refer to can be confusing, please see our Legacy jargon buster.

Are you already an Attorney to a Skipton customer?

To register your POA we will require;

  • The original Power of Attorney (POA) document or solicitor certified copy of the POA document, if applicable, stamped by the Office of Public Guardian (OPG). The following documents need to be stamped by the OPG before we can register you as an attorney for a Skipton customer;
    • Enduring POA if the customer does not have mental capacity
    • Lasting POA whether or not the customer has mental capacity
    • Scottish Continuing Power of Attorney, whether or not the customer or combined has mental capacity.
  • A completed Savings Account Registration Form.
  • Identification if you or any other attorney to be registered is not an existing Skipton customer. This will be two pieces of identification if you visit a branch or three pieces if registering by post. Please see our proving your identity leaflet for acceptable forms of ID.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

There are two types of of LPA, these are as follows:

  • Property and Financial Affairs – enables your Attorney to manage your property and financial affairs if required while you still have capacity, as well as when you lack capacity; and
  • Health and Welfare – allows your Attorney to make decisions regarding your personal healthcare and welfare in line with your expressed wishes, when you lack capacity to make them yourself.

In order to use an LPA, it must first be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

General Power of Attorney (GPA)

With a GPA, you choose what your Attorney's powers can be, they can be as wide as you wish so that the Attorney could do anything you can do to manage your property and finances. It is important to stress that this does not remain valid in mental incapacity, whereas a LPA does.

A GPA is suitable in circumstances such as:

  • you are going abroad for a period of time;
  • you are going into hospital and are unable to physically manage your finances for a while; or 
  • You would like someone else to deal with a particular financial matter, for example, selling some shares.

A GPA does not need to be registered with the OPG before it can be used.

In Scotland, Power of Attorney can be either a Continuing Power of Attorney or a General Power of Attorney.

Power of Attorney (POA)

The different types of Continuing POA in Scotland are:

  • a Continuing Power of Attorney allowing your Attorney to deal with your financial affairs; and
  • a Welfare Power of Attorney allowing your Attorney to make decisions about your personal welfare.

If you wish your Attorney to have both types of power it is possible to combine a Continuing and Welfare Power of Attorney into one legal document.

In order to use a Continuing or Welfare POA, it must first be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

General Power of Attorney (GPA)

With a GPA, you choose what your Attorney's powers can be. They can be as wide as you wish so that the Attorney could do anything you can do to manage your property and finances. It is important to stress that this does not remain valid in mental incapacity, whereas a Continuing or Welfare POA does.

A GPA is suitable in circumstances such as:

  • you are going abroad for a period of time;
  • you are going into hospital and are unable to physically manage your finances for a while; or
  • you would like someone else to deal with a particular financial matter, for example, selling some shares.

A GPA does not need to be registered with the OPG before it can be used.

One of the most important things in life is having the freedom and control to make our own decisions about the things that matter to us. If you were no longer able to make these decisions because of age, an accident, or an illness such as dementia, would your family know how you wanted to be cared for and what your wishes are for your affairs?

By making a Power of Attorney you can ensure a friend, relative or professional who you trust is empowered to make key decisions for you, in the way that you would want. Our experienced advisers can help you to understand how your Power of Attorney can be tailored to meet your needs.

Next steps

In branch or call us

Visit or call your local branch for further information and to complete your Power of Attorney.

Enter your nearest town or postcode to find their contact details.

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