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When to action power of attorney


Registered User
Mar 30, 2015
North East UK
Has anyone any ideas as to when to apply for Power of attorney. My husband can still sign his name but cannot write cheques or remember what he has signed for. This has all been set up with solicitor for years but never been actioned.


Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
East Kent
I'd action it sooner rather than later, having it registered doesn't man you have to use it straight away.
I agree. It takes a while for an LPA/EPA to be registered , this way it is ready for uses as soon as you believe it's needed , which in my opinion if not now it will be needed very soon.
Do make sure you get some certified copies, the solicitor will do them for a fee but do shop around as their fees do differ.

Other than banks who will take a photo copy and hand it straight back , do not let the original out of your sight as some places automatically shred them and things do get lost in the post . So Use use the certified copy instead. this should be stamped, signed and dated on every page not just the front page as some seem to do .

Hope this helps.
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Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
To register an Enduring POA with the Office of the Public Guardian, read the guidance and download forms from this link: https://www.gov.uk/enduring-power-attorney-duties/register-an-enduring-power-of-attorney You will need the original copy of the EPA when you apply to register it.

The older type, called Enduring Power of Attorney, was easier to set up and use. Once signed and witnessed it could be used straight away. The disadvantage was that nobody would necessarily know about the POA apart from those who were directly involved.

The OPG can't support the donors and their attorneys until it knows about the POA; hence the need for registration with them. The new type of POA, called Lasting Power of Attorney, has to be registered with OPG from the start. This is good from a monitoring and support POV, but there is a delay in getting the POA active, and higher registration costs. https://www.gov.uk/lasting-power-attorney-duties
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Registered User
Nov 3, 2012
East Mids
I have LPOA for my mum along with my siblings but although we have it i still don't know when to actually start using it, how will i know that "now" is the time it is needed.
I know when we do start using it that it will be a massive problem as mum won't agree with anything, she already thinks we are being nasty to her and trying to take over, when in reality we just simply care about her and her well being ! She isn't coping very well and i fear something awful will happen but mum doesn't agree with that.


Registered User
Jun 6, 2011
Once it was obvious my Mum was getting memory problems, we got her and Dad to sign the Financial POA forms in front of friends, and I sent them off for registration straight away. This was about 4 years ago. I read that you could request 2 free certified copies so I added a covering letter asking for them.

In the end, we only showed the POA to Mum's bank so my Dad could speak to telephone banking about her account.

I still have the POA 'ready and waiting' to use for Dad, if needs be. He has some funny attacks so you never know if a stroke or other accident might change his mental powers overnight.


Registered User
Jan 23, 2015
I have EPA for my mum, which hasn't yet been registered with the court of protection (should probably start thinking about that). That doesn't stop you registering it with the banks. It's the same mechanism that you could use for someone out of the country, or physically house bound who wanted you to be able to act on their behalf. Until it's registered with the court of protection it could be revoked and the person who's given it can still sign for things in addition to the attorney. Our solicitor advised us to make sure it was registered with the banks before we went to the court of protection, as the process can take a while, and if they don't already have your details it can cause problems accessing the account. We also found a huge difference between the banks in how easy and quick it was to do - be warned!


Registered User
Jan 23, 2015
A power of attorney (unlike being a deputy) is a legal document by which an individual with capacity gives another the right to act on their behalf. They can withdraw it at any time. There are all sorts of reasons that these can be useful- travel abroad or a period of physical incapacity. If it is drawn up legally, properly witnessed etc, then yes, a bank can accept it. The attorney has a legal duty to register it with the court of protection if, and only if, they believe the donor is losing capacity. At that time the donor can no longer cancel it, and they lose the right to operate the account themselves, but the Court of Protection supervises the way the attorney operates which safeguards the donor. There is, of course, a grey area over when the donor no longer has capacity. If you register the EPA/LPA with the Court of Protection before you register it with the bank, I understand there can be a period (3 months?) in which the donor cannot operate the account, (lack of capacity), but the attorney can't either. It is therefore sensible to register these things while the donor still has capacity so that the attorney can operate it during the time that the registration with the Court of Protection is taking place. There are probably those out there with better legal knowledge than I have, so please feel free to clarify/correct me!


Registered User
Jan 23, 2015
Oh, and when you register an unregistered POA with the bank, they have to write to the donor telling them that you've done it. Assuming the donor still has capacity they have a chance to object to it then. As an attorney you have to sign when you register it that the donor does still have capacity and that you know that you have a legal duty to tell them if that changes. Lots of safeguards if people follow the rules. Of course, there is always room for people to take advantage of a relative who has lost capacity, but that's true with or without a POA.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Do banks accept them un-registered by the authorities? Makes them almost pointless if they do.
They shouldn't accept an unregistered LPA but an unregistered EPA (unless it has restrictions written into it) can be used. It acts just like a general power of attorney. On the other hand, a LPA can be registered at any time, while an EPA must be registered if the person is losing capacity.

I think what is going on here is that people are talking about the two different types of POA.


Registered User
Jan 23, 2015
Thank you Jennifer. That makes a lot of sense. I've been dealing with an EPA, and also have experience of how being a Deputy works, but haven't really needed to look into LPAs. I just know they're a lot more complicated! :) Maryland said that her husbands had been set up for years, so is probably an EPA? If so, she'd be sensible to register it with the bank as soon as possible.
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Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
Radcliffe on Trent
Do banks accept them un-registered by the authorities? Makes them almost pointless if they do.
Mum's 3 banks all accepted the old style EPOA when it was unregistered but I don't know if LPA has different rules. I informed all banks again after EPOA was registered but it didn't seem to change anything. No idea if they did it right, but it enabled me to manage her affairs as soon as needed.


Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
North West
A couple of pointers based on my own experience:

1) Get a few quotes for certified copies and check that they know what they are being asked to do. This might be a surprise but not all solicitors know as much as they should about this. (The same is true actually of the banks and other organisations that you have to present the POA to.)

2) If you have to send a certified copy to any organisation, attach a 'post-it' telling them that they must return it and must not shred it. I didn't know how stupid they were until they shredded mine and, although they compensated me, I still have the hassle of getting it copied again.

Cucu Mzungu

Registered User
Nov 11, 2011
Two comments - 1) If your husband is willing, get the bank account made into a joint account that either of you can operate. My sister and I have done this with our Mum and it works well.
2) There is no particular starting point for using a power of attorney. It all depends on what the person has the capacity to decide. For example I think my Mum is still reasonably able to make a good decision about giving some money to this one or that one but absolutely not able to decide sensibly whether to take her coat with her when we go out if she is feeling warm at the time we leave. So if she says not to take it I usually take it anyway though on occasion it provokes fury.

Frederic H

Registered User
Apr 1, 2015
when to action poer of attorney

Has anyone any ideas as to when to apply for Power of attorney. My husband can still sign his name but cannot write cheques or remember what he has signed for. This has all been set up with solicitor for years but never been actioned.
Hi there Maryland.
My OH 75 has memory problems so we have just registered a POA.As the solicitor said there are two types either to action when someone dies or straight away .The latter is is the best I suppose .My OH is quite happy about it as she has not had any interest in money for some time.
Solicitor said that it takes at least 12 weeks to get it registered.
For me it is an insurance that If I die first then the children can sort out their Mums finances with out any problems. Morbid I know but we have to think ahead
Hope all goes well with you

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