How to ensure a power is acceptable to a Financial Institution

Some financial institutions refuse to accept a copy of a power of attorney unless it is certified and dated on every page.

It has been reported that several banks and building societies now appear to insist that certified copies of a property and finance lasting power of attorney must be dated on every page, as well as certified. This demand appears to originate in online Government guidance, so it is useful to reproduce its main points.

A donor can confirm that a copy of their lasting power of attorney (LPA) is genuine by ‘certifying’ it if they are still able to make their own decisions. A donor or their attorney can use a certified copy to register your LPA if they do not have the original form.

The attorney can also use the certified copy to prove they have permission to make decisions on the donor’s behalf, for example to manage their bank account. The guidance includes the appropriate wording to use in order to certify, which needs to be written on the bottom of every page of the copy, namely: “I certify this is a true and complete copy of the corresponding page of the original lasting power of attorney.”

On the final page of the copy, it must also be written: “I certify this is a true and complete copy of the lasting power of attorney.” The donor needs to sign and date every page.

Obviously, once the donor has lost capacity, they will not be able to certify anything. In such a case copies of an LPA can be certified by a solicitor or a person authorised to carry out notarial activities. As the latter is likely to incur a fee, it may be sensible to advise donors who still have capacity, but have not made certified copies, to do so sooner rather than later.


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