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A power of attorney is the authority that allows you (the ‘donor’) to appoint someone you trust (the attorney) to make decisions on your behalf.

You can choose one or more people to act as attorney on your behalf, but you must be confident you've chosen the right person or people to carry out the tasks involved in looking after your finances.

Power of attorney can only be granted when you still have sufficient mental capacity. While you're able to, you can continue to manage your own finances.

Benefits of setting up a power of attorney

Setting up a power of attorney means that someone else can make decisions on your behalf if you're not able to do so. It means that whatever happens in the future, you'll be looked after in the way you want by those you trust.

If no power of attorney is set up and you become mentally incapacitated, your family or friends would need to apply to the Court of Protection (COP) before they can help with financial affairs. The COP will then supervise the management of your affairs. Having a power of attorney set up can save this lengthy and expensive process with the COP.

If you have any questions, we’re here to help. Call our specialist team on 0800 587 4525.

There are different types of power of attorney

Lasting power of attorney (LPA)

A ‘lasting power of attorney’ can be used as soon as it has been registered with the Office of Public Guardian (OPG), unless otherwise specified. If you need support to make decisions, or can’t make decisions yourself, then your appointed person can manage your finances for you.

You can register a ‘property and financial affairs LPA’ and/or a ‘health and welfare LPA’. Because a 'property & affairs' LPA is the only sort that would apply to your accounts with us, that’s the only document we’d need to see. (We don't need to see a 'health & welfare' LPA document.)


Enduring power of attorney

If you have an unregistered enduring power of attorney, it can still be used. These types of authority were replaced by lasting powers of attorney in 2007. Your attorney will need to register it with the Court of Protection if they believe you are or are becoming mentally incapable.

There are other types of powers of attorney. Call our specialist team on 0800 587 4525 if you want to know more.

How to apply for a power of attorney

To apply for a lasting power of attorney (LPA), you’ll need an LPA form. You can download this at the Government’s website: go to www.gov.uk and type ‘LPA’ in the search box.

An LPA is only effective when it's been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). You can register your LPA at www.gov.uk (type ‘LPA’ in the search box) or a solicitor can do this for you, for a fee.

You'll need to register the power of attorney with us

We’ll need to see:

Power of attorney document (a 'property & affairs' LPA document or a registered EPA document, original or certified copy)
You can certify it if you still have mental capacity.
If not, this must be done by a solicitor.

Attorney supplementary form
This is a Coventry Building Society form which your attorney will need to complete and sign.
Attorney Supplementary Form (PDF 83KB)

ID 
We need to see identification for any attorney who isn't an existing member of Coventry Building Society.
These are our ID requirements

If you need us to open a new account for you, you'll need to complete an application form. We may need to see ID for this too.

If you have any questions, we’re here to help. Call our specialist team on 0800 587 4525.

An attorney can manage your account in the same way you can

What they can do depend on the terms and conditions of your account, and any restrictions you may have in the power of attorney.

At a branch 
Your attorney can carry out transactions at a branch in the normal way.

By post
Your attorney can carry out transactions by post in the normal way.
We check the attorney's signature against our records to validate any transactions.

By phone 
Your attorney can carry out transactions via Telephone Services using their own unique security details. If they already have security details for another account with us, they don’t need new details – they’ll just use the same Password, Grid Card and Telephone PIN. If they don’t already have security details, we can arrange to send them.

Online
Your attorney may be able to operate your account via Online Services. If this is the case, we can arrange to send them security details in their own name so that they can use Online Services in the same way you can. If your attorney is already registered for Online Services, they won't need additional security details because your accounts will appear on their 'My Accounts' page.

Your attorney can have a cash card

As long as there are no restrictions in the power of attorney document, the attorney can have a cash card or Visa debit card, if it’s allowed by your account’s terms and conditions.

Your power of attorney will end:

  • if you decide to revoke it before you lose capacity

  • if an attorney (or you) becomes bankrupt

  • if an attorney loses mental capacity

  • if a marriage or civil partnership between you and the attorney is dissolved

  • if an attorney decides to disclaim their powers

  • if the Court Of Protection (COP) makes an order revoking a power of attorney

  • if a sole attorney dies (ie: they were the only attorney)

  • when you (the donor) die

If an attorney dies

If an attorney dies on a 'joint or several' power of attorney, or they are the sole attorney, we remove their name from the account. If the authority is 'joint or several', the remaining attorney may continue to act.

If you provided for a replacement attorney in the original power at the time the power was granted, you can appoint that attorney.  

You can appoint a new attorney under a fresh power, if:

  • you still have mental capacity, and
  • you revoke the existing power

If an attorney dies or is no longer able to act on a 'joint' power of attorney, you should refer to the Office of the Public Guardian for guidance.

You can choose who receives your correspondence

We'll only send out one set of correspondence, in your name (as the ‘donor’). The attorney supplementary form records where you'd like us to send it. 

Useful contacts

Office of the Public Guardian 
0300 456 0300 
www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-the-public-guardian

Age UK
0800 169 6565 
www.ageuk.org.uk
The Age UK website has very detailed guidance and advice if you’re not sure about your next step.

Court of Protection
0300 456 4600 
www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/court-of-protection