Power of Attorney Problem


Registered User
Dec 5, 2003
OK here goes..

We're having a slight problem with our Power of Attorney and wondered whether anyone has any advice.

Some years ago we had a solicitor draw up a power of attorney. It now turns out that this was never signed by my Mum (who is to be Power of Attorney). This was the solicitors fault. However, said solicitor has now retired and no-one seems to know what to do. They don't want to draw up a new one as my Nan is no longer capable of agreeing to this, and they also don't want to have my Mum sign it (and lie about the date). Has anyone any suggestions as to what we can do?



Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi Emma

Best to check up with someone with some legal knowledge, but did Nan sign the Power of Attorney?

The question is therefore, can you trace the original solicitor, and will he/she be able to remember Nan signing it? I'd think the critical thing is her signature, not Mum's.

If the solicitor is willing to sign a legal document saying he remembered the occasion, and that Nan understood what she was signing, then that might do the trick. Mum could then sign it in the presence of a new solicitor and the whole thing might be okay.

But you do need to check, of course.

Best of luck. These things happen, but sometimes they resolve easier than we initially fear. I hope that's the case for your family.


Dear Em

We had the experience whereby Dad did nothing about a POA until Mum had actually been admitted to residential care!!! That's my Dad!!!

I spoke to a solicitor who said that providing the consultant would confirm that in his opinion and experience of the family the content of the POA would have been Mum's wish and he would sign to that effect, a POA could be enforced. The consultant agreed to witness the documentation. Strikes me you are only short of that one signature, could this be a way to go? The POA was, after all, drawn up with Nan's agreement originally - her wishes wouldn't have changed.

A lot messier than Bruce's suggestion but a possible route.

Best wishes


Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Emma,

It is possible to have POA granted retrospectively. At the time that I applied for POA for my parents they were both fairly well advanced in dementia and fortunately our neighbours alerted me in order that I could get back to the UK to sort things out.

Our Solicitor was of the opinion that is was very important for me to be granted POA to safeguard their interests and to care for them. I had to write to every single relative and let them know in case anyone objected [nobody did] and our Solicitor then lodged the application on that basis and the POA's were granted within a fortnight or so with no query.

Best wishes,



Registered User
May 20, 2004
Hi Emma

once the original POA is signed and witnessed it can be used without further action until the attorney(s) decides it needs to be registered with the COP. That is why it is such an important and powerful document and should be held by a solicitor or someone similar until it is needed.

However it is the attorneys duty to apply to register it(and that includes writing to most known relatives) when the donor loses or appears to be losing "mental capacity".

You need proper advise but if your Nan signed her bit and had it witnessed I'm not sure whether a lapse of a day or a couple of years till the Attorney signed it would be a problem - probably too simplistic a view of the legal system but who knows.

Most days I offer up thanks that Aunty got hers sorted just in time. Its been a difficult and steep learning curve with it, I dread to think how we would have coped without it.

Good Luck



Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
you are so right.
The law and legal issues can be such complicated things.
We can relate experiences on this board which have happend to us,but always get professional advice before taking any action


Registered User
May 20, 2003
Get POA if you can

We missed out on getting POA and I ended up having to become Mums Receiver - AVOID this at all costs - it will COST you dearly - in time and money.

I could tell a long saga - but will spare you !!!! Just AVOID getting into situation by taking out that Power of Attorney if you can. Good luck.


Registered User
May 20, 2003
On being a Receiver

Hello Rob

Have you had all the information - booklets etc about becoming a Receiver adn also booklets on Power of Attorney ?

Its all on the website at http://www.guardianship.gov.uk/formsdocuments/publications.htm

A lot of the publications are downloadable too - but I fidnit better it have the bookets to refer to - they are all available free of charge. have a look at the web site if you have time.

I'm happy to share our experiences but it would take ages to relate it all - perhaps better to address one aspect at a time - also the whole system is continually being developed and over the 7 years I was Mums Reciever things have changed.

First of all though - you may or may not need to become a Receiver. I had to - as Mums dementia was very advanced when my Dad died & Mum inherited everythng including a house that had to be sold to pay her care home fees. I had no option but to apply for Receivership - even thought only child & relative & sole beneficiary of Mums will.

Please send a personal message if you have specific questions or post on here for more general chat.

Maybe it is not too late for you to have Power of Attorney - I'm no expert - so please take advice on this - the Public Guardianship itself is there it guide you - it s their job. Also I would have thought it was a Social Workers job too - but have no experience of them.

Hope this legal stuff is sorted for you easily enough - and you get more respite soon too.

Please keep in touch.

Take care



Registered User
Jan 20, 2005
St. Helens, Merseyside
Thanks Chris,

I'm fairly sure either from what I've read or been told that Mum's AD is too far advanced to get any sort of Power of Attorney.

I'll talk to the local Carer's Centre (Princess Royal Trust) - they should have all the bumf.