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Power of Attorney & Court of Protection

If a bank account needs to be cared for by a person other than the account holder, Power of Attorney will be needed. We'll explain how to get this.

There are different kinds of Power of Attorney that do different things. What type of Power of Attorney is required depends on various factors, including where the account holder lives, their "mental capacity" and the amount of time the account will be cared for.

Power of Attorney can only be set up whilst the account holder has “mental capacity”. Certain types can be signed and witnessed with an instruction, only to be registered once “mental capacity” has been lost.

If there is no Power of Attorney in place, a Court of Protection order is required instead. This is a court of England and Wales, which makes decisions on behalf of those who are incapable of doing so themselves. If there is a need for ongoing decisions to be made on someone's behalf, the court can give these powers to an individual. In Scotland, a Guardianship order operates in a similar way to a Court of Protection order. In Northern Ireland, this is called a Controller order.


Attorney Information

Once registered, an attorney will be able to use the relevant account(s) in the same way as the account holder, unless specific instructions are included in the Power of Attorney document:

  • They can carry out actions, such as: paying bills, withdrawing cash and making transfers.
  • They may be entitled to a debit card and cheque book (Co-operative Bank only), provided the Power of Attorney document and account(s) in question allows those.
  • They will be able to register for telephone banking.
  • If the account holder has not lost “mental capacity”, they can choose whether to continue to have access to the account along with the attorney(s). If they lose “mental capacity” and are no longer able to manage their own finances, they will no longer have access to the account(s). The account(s) will be managed solely by their attorney(s) providing the correct Power of Attorney is held.
  • If the account holder passes away, Power of Attorney ceases. If one of the attorneys dies, this could revoke Power of Attorney for all appointed attorneys, unless a replacement is appointed. Whilst setting up Power of Attorney, the account holder can appoint replacements who can take the place of the deceased attorney or an attorney who chooses to no longer be an attorney in the future.

It is possible to have multiple attorneys appointed to make decisions on behalf of someone else. Attorneys are either appointed ‘jointly’ or ‘jointly and severally’ or a combination of both.

  • Joint attorneys must all act and make decisions together. A signature from all the attorneys would be required on paperwork for any decisions made.
  • Joint and several attorneys can make decisions independently of each other.
  • Combination of both. This can be requested where the account holder wants joint authority for high value withdrawals, and either attorney’s authority for other, less high value activities.
  • If the Power of Attorney document doesn’t specify which one they are, they will be treated as though they have been appointed ‘jointly.’

Below we will show you what documents you need to provide to us. However, if you would prefer a member of our customer service team to talk you through the process, you can contact us.


The documents you’ll need to provide to us

Please answer these questions about the account holder's circumstances. This will determine the type of Power of Attorney or Court of Protection required and which documents you'll need to provide to us.

Do you already have a Power of Attorney or Court of Protection document?
Which Co-operative brands does the account holder have accounts or products with?
Is the account holder still able to make decisions?

Care of the account is required now, and should continue if the account holder can no longer make decisions.

You may want to choose this if they:

  • have been diagnosed with dementia
  • are suffering from mental health problems
  • are struggling with alcohol or drug problems

You may want to choose this if they:

  • are going abroad for a while
  • are recovering from an accident or illness
Where does the account holder live?

What type of Power of Attorney/Court of Protection is required?

  • Enduring Power of Attorney was replaced by Lasting / Continuing Power of Attorney on 1st October 2007. However, we can still register Enduring Power of Attorney's on our records if they were drawn up and signed prior to that date.

Unlike a Lasting Power of Attorney, the Enduring Power of Attorney can be used without having been registered whilst the account holder retains “mental capacity”. Once the account holder loses the “mental capacity” to make decisions for themselves, the Enduring Power of Attorney must be registered with the relevant Office of the Public Guardian (England), Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland), or The Office of Care and Protection (Northern Ireland) depending on where the account holder resides.

Enduring Power of Attorney's only cover decisions relating to property and financial matters and not health and personal welfare.

  • If you have a General/Ordinary Power of Attorney, this is valid only whilst the customer has "mental capacity".

You’ll need Lasting Power of Attorney for property and finances, and this will need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.

This allows someone else to make decisions on another person’s behalf and remains in place if the account holder loses the "mental capacity" to make decisions themselves.

If the account holder is still well enough to make their own decisions, they can either:

  • let other people look after their account immediately, once this has been granted
  • let other people look after their account, only when they are no longer able to do so themselves. The attorney(s) may need written confirmation of this from a medical professional.

To obtain information including how to apply for Lasting Power of Attorney, you can contact the Office of the Public Guardian.

You’ll need Ordinary / General Power of Attorney.

This lets someone else look after an account for a period of time determined by the account holder, or to perform specific activities on an account. If at any point they lose the ability to make their own decisions, this Power of Attorney will be cancelled.

To obtain information including how to apply for Ordinary/General Power of Attorney, you can contact the Office of the Public Guardian.

You’ll need a Court of Protection Order.

This is used where an account holder has already become incapable of making decisions for themselves. A third party (such as a family member) can apply to the Court of Protection for an order allowing them to make decisions on behalf of the account holder.

If there is a need for ongoing decisions to be made on someone’s behalf, the court can give these powers to an individual. Whoever is granted these powers is referred to as a ‘deputy.’

A ‘Court of Protection order’ is the document which confirms their status as a deputy who can make decisions on behalf of the account holder.

To obtain information including how to apply to the Court of Protection, please visit www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/court-of-protection

You’ll need Continuing Power of Attorney for property and finances. You can also have a Combined Power of Attorney, which encompasses both property and finances, as well as health and welfare. It will need to have been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) before it can be used.

This allows someone else to make decisions on another person’s behalf and remains in place if the account holder loses the mental capacity to make decisions themselves.

If the account holder is still well enough to make their own decisions, they can either:

  • let other people look after their account immediately, once this has been granted
  • let other people look after their account, only when they are no longer able to do so themselves. The attorney(s) may need written confirmation of this from a medical professional.

To obtain information including how to apply for Continuing or Combined Power of Attorney, you can contact the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland).

You’ll need General Power of Attorney.

This lets someone else look after an account for a period of time determined by the account holder, or to perform specific activities on an account. If at any point they lose the ability to make their own decisions, this Power of Attorney will be cancelled.

To obtain information including how to apply for General Power of Attorney, you can contact the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland).

You’ll need a Guardianship Order.

This is used where an account holder has already become incapable of making decisions for themselves. A third party (such as a family member) can apply to the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) for an order allowing them to make decisions on behalf of the account holder.

If there is a need for ongoing decisions to be made on someone’s behalf, the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) can give these powers to an individual. Whoever is granted these powers is referred to as a ‘guardian’.

A ‘Guardianship order’ is the document which confirms their status as a deputy who can make decisions on behalf of the account holder.

To obtain information including how to apply to the Office of the Public Guardian, you can contact the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland).

You’ll need Enduring Power of Attorney for property and finances, and it will need to be registered with the Office of Care and Protection before it can be used.

This allows someone else to make decisions on another person’s behalf and remains in place if the account holder loses the mental capacity to make decisions themselves.

If the account holder is still well enough to make their own decisions, they can either:

  • let other people look after their account immediately, once this has been granted
  • let other people look after their account, only when they are no longer able to do so themselves. The attorney(s) may need written confirmation of this from a medical professional.

To obtain information including how to apply for Enduring Power of Attorney, you can contact The Office of Care and Protection (Northern Ireland).

You’ll need General Power of Attorney.

This lets someone else look after an account for a period of time determined by the account holder, or to perform specific activities on an account. If at any point they lose the ability to make their own decisions, this Power of Attorney will be cancelled.

To obtain information including how to apply for General Power of Attorney, you can contact The Office of Care and Protection (Northern Ireland).

You’ll need a Controller Order.

This is used where an account holder has already become incapable of making decisions for themselves. A third party (such as a family member) can apply to the Office of Care and Protection (Northern Ireland) for an order allowing them to make decisions on behalf of the account holder.

If there is a need for ongoing decisions to be made on someone’s behalf, the Office of Care and Protection (Northern Ireland) can give these powers to an individual. Whoever is granted these powers is referred to as a ‘controller’.

A ‘Controller order’ is the document which confirms their status as a deputy who can make decisions on behalf of the account holder.

For more information including how to apply to the Office of Care and Protection, you can contact The Office of Care and Protection (Northern Ireland).

Any Power of Attorney document must be drawn up within UK law. For more information on how to do this, please refer to the Office of the Public Guardian.

Any Power of Attorney document must be drawn up within UK law. For more information on how to do this, please refer to the Office of the Public Guardian.

Any Power of Attorney document must be drawn up within UK law. For more information on how to do this, please refer to the Office of the Public Guardian.

What do you need to do once you have obtained Power of Attorney or Court of Protection?

To register the Power of Attorney, you need to send us the following documents:

  • Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Ordinary/General Power of Attorney
  • Court of Protection order
  • Continuing / Combined Power of Attorney
  • General Power of Attorney
  • Guardianship order
  • Enduring Power of Attorney
  • General Power of Attorney
  • Controller order
  • Power of Attorney document under UK law
  • Power of Attorney
  • Power of Attorney / Court of Protection Registration Form

    • If General/Ordinary Power of Attorney is required, then the registration form must be completed and signed by the account holder, as well as the attorney. For all other kinds of Power of Attorney, only a signature by the attorney is required on the registration form.
  • Proof of attorney’s identity (certified copy)

    These include:

    • UK passport
    • UK photo driving license (full or provisional)

    See the full list of identity documents that can be used

  • Proof of attorney’s address (certified copy)

    These include:

    • UK photo driving licence (full or provisional).
    • A utility bill showing the attorneys current address, issued in the last 6 months (not a mobile phone bill)

    See the full list of address documents that can be used

    • The document used as proof of address cannot be the same document used as proof of identity.
    • The attorney is only required to provide one of these documents to confirm their address.
    • Copies of these documents can be made for you by colleagues at any of our Co-operative Bank branches.
    • Please contact us if you do not have any of the above.
    • If the Attorney is from outside the EU, and living in the UK, they may also be asked to provide proof of their right to reside in the UK.

What you need to do with these documents

When you have all of the aforementioned documents, you can either book an appointment and bring them into a Co-operative Bank branch or post them to our Power of Attorney Team.

To book a Branch appointment please contact us.

To post the documents, please send them to:

Power of Attorney Team,

Co-operative Bank,

PO BOX 200,

Delf House,

Skelmersdale,

WN8 6YS

Power of Attorney Team,

Britannia

Freepost (15796),

Dept CO33,

Leek,

Staffordshire,

ST13 5RG

  • If you are posting these documents to us, we recommend you use a trackable delivery service. These are important documents and should be traceable if they are lost or misplaced.
  • Once we’ve received your documents, we will aim to have them scanned and sent back out to you within the same day.

What will happen when we receive these documents?

Once we have received all of the completed documents, we will begin to register the Power of Attorney or Court of Protection. This will take up to 10 working days.

  • Please note; these times are only estimations.

We may call the account holder and the attorney(s) to confirm they have been registered and will send confirmation of this in writing. We will also advise when the attorney can expect to receive any stationery that has been requested (for Co-operative Bank accounts only).

Useful Information

For more information on any of the Power of Attorney or Court of Protection processes, please refer to:

Office of the Public Guardian (England and Wales)

Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland)

Office of Care and Protection (Northern Ireland)

Citizens Advice Bureau

Gov.uk

Important documents

Power of Attorney / Court of Protection Registration Form

Download Power of Attorney / Court of Protection Registration Form PDF (108KB)