My Macmillan

Power of attorney

You can give one or more other people the legal power to manage your affairs. They are then known as your attorney(s) and legally have Power of Attorney. 

This can be a temporary or long-term arrangement.

Most people appoint their husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried partner as an attorney, or another family member or a friend. You can also appoint a professional, such as an accountant or lawyer. It’s essential that you completely trust the person you appoint.

Mental capacity

To create a Power of Attorney, you must have mental capacity.

A person lacks mental capacity if they are unable to:

Giving someone temporary Power of Attorney

You may want to give someone the power to manage your property and financial affairs for a set time, for example while you’re staying in a care home or away on a long holiday. You can do this using an Ordinary Power of Attorney.

Giving someone long-term Power of Attorney

To give someone power to take over your affairs permanently, you need to use a long-term Power of Attorney.

Once a long-term Power of Attorney has been made (granted), it will need to be registered before it can start. Registering a long-term Power of Attorney may take some time. You should start the process as early as possible. It’s important to fill in the registration forms carefully to reduce the risk of delays.

Once a long-term Power of Attorney is registered, it remains effective even if you lose mental capacity (unlike Ordinary Power of Attorney).

Differences across the UK

The types and details of long-term Powers of Attorney vary across the UK. Speak to our financial guides on 0808 808 00 00 for more detailed information about long-term Powers of Attorney.