Frequently asked questions

What is a power of attorney (POA)?

A POA is a legal document that appoints one or more people (attorney/s) to make decisions for you (the donor).

What is a donor?

A donor is an individual who wishes to give another person/people the authority to act or make decisions on their behalf.

What is an attorney?

An attorney is a person/people appointed to look after the finances and property or health and welfare of another person.

What happens if I haven’t put a power of attorney in place and find I no longer have the mental capacity to make my own decisions?

Please see our section on the options that will be available in this situation.

What documents will I need to register a POA with M&S Bank?

We will need to see the full POA document – either the original, or a copy which has been certified (see important documents). Please note that we will also need to verify the identity and address details of each attorney wishing to be registered with us. We may be able to do this electronically, and each attorney should complete a POA authority form to be returned to us with the POA document. However, if we’re unable to verify any details electronically, we’ll contact you with a list of acceptable forms of ID and address verification.

How long does it take to register a power of attorney with M&S Bank?

Typically, this will take five working days. It could be longer if we need to ask for additional information from you or your attorney/s.

How will I know when the power of attorney is registered with M&S Bank?

We will send a confirmation letter to your 'main' attorney to confirm the POA is set up on your accounts.

What happens if I become mentally incapable?

Some types of power of attorney remain valid if the donor (you) becomes mentally incapable. Please see our types of power of attorney page for further information. For further information on mental capacity please refer to our mental capacity section.

Can I appoint more than one attorney?

Yes. If you appoint more than one attorney, you must specify whether they are to act 'jointly' (ie together) or 'jointly and severally' (ie together or individually). It is worth noting that if you appoint your attorneys to act 'jointly' they won't be able to have access to Telephone Banking or Internet Banking and they won't be able to have a debit card. If you appointed your attorneys to act ‘jointly and severally’, however, you would be able to choose and appoint one of your attorneys to have access to the above services.

What happens if I appoint a solicitor or a firm as an attorney?

The same process applies as if an individual has been appointed.

What happens when I die?

The POA would be cancelled as would the authority of any attorneys. For more information on what happens to your accounts when you die, see our bereavement support section.

What if my power of attorney is from a different country?

We do accept foreign power of attorney documents, but each decision to accept a foreign power of attorney is taken on a 'case by case' basis. You would need to provide the original POA document in the foreign language and also have a translation done, which would need to be stamped by a notary.

What happens if the power of attorney document contains restrictions?

We will need to comply with any restrictions which are stated in the document. It may take a little longer to register with us as we may need to request additional information. This may also mean that your attorney/s cannot access all of our services (such as Telephone Banking or Internet Banking or a debit card).

What does 'jointly' and 'jointly and severally' mean?

'Jointly' means that all the Attorneys must act together at all times. 'Jointly and severally' (sometimes referred to as 'jointly and individually') means that the attorneys can either act individually or together.

What is a Court of Protection Order?

A Court of Protection Order can be issued when someone loses mental capacity and there is no Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney in existence. Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/court-of-protection.

What is a ‘deputy’?

A deputy is a person appointed by the Court of Protection to manage the affairs of someone who lacks the mental capacity to manage their own affairs. Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/court-of-protection.

What is a ‘controller’?

A controller is a person appointed by the Office of Care and Protection to manage the affairs of someone who lacks the mental capacity to manage their own affairs. Further information can be found at https://www.courtsni.gov.uk/en-GB/Services/OCP/Pages/default.aspx.

Does it cost anything to register a power of attorney with M&S Bank?

No, there is no cost for registering a power of attorney with us.

What documents are needed to register a POA with M&S Bank?

We will need to see the full POA document – either the original, or a copy which has been certified (see important documents). We will also need to verify the identity and address details of each attorney wishing to be registered with us. We may be able to do this electronically, and each attorney should complete a POA authority form to be returned to us with the POA document. However, if we’re unable to verify any details electronically, we’ll contact you with a list of acceptable forms of ID and address verification.

Please refer to our help us identify you page.

How long does it take to register a power of attorney with M&S Bank?

Typically, this will take five working days. It could be longer if we need to ask for additional information.

How will I know when the power of attorney is registered with M&S Bank?

We will send a confirmation letter to the 'main' attorney.

What if the power of attorney is from a different country?

We do accept foreign power of attorney documents, but each decision to accept a foreign power of attorney is taken on a 'case by case' basis. You would need to provide the original POA document in the foreign language and also have a translation done, which would need to be stamped by a notary.

What happens if the power of attorney document contains restrictions?

We will need to comply with any restrictions which are stated in the document. It may take a little longer to register with us as we may need to request additional information. This may also mean that, as an attorney, you cannot access all of our services (such as Telephone Banking, Internet Banking or a debit card).

Can more than one attorney be appointed?

Yes. The donor can appoint more than one attorney, and must specify whether they are to act 'jointly' (i.e. together) or 'jointly and severally' (i.e. together or individually). It is worth noting that if attorneys are appointed to act 'jointly' they won't be able to have access to Telephone Banking or Internet Banking and they won't be able to have a debit card. If, on the other hand, attorneys are appointed to act ‘jointly and severally’, the donor would be able to choose and appoint one of their attorneys to have access to the above services.

How do I access Internet Banking/Telephone Banking?

You can apply for Internet Banking once our records have been updated to include the POA. Internet Banking and/or Telephone Banking will be accessible to you, as an attorney, as long as you are the sole attorney or, if there are multiple attorneys, as long as the POA requires them to be able to act ‘jointly and severally’ and indicates who should have day-to-day access to these services. With a general power of attorney, Internet Banking cannot be provided.

What happens if the donor becomes mentally incapable?

Some types of power of attorney remain valid if the donor becomes mentally incapable. Please see our types of power of attorney page for further information. For further information on mental capacity and what can be done once a donor loses mental capacity, please refer to our mental capacity section.

What happens should the donor die?

The POA would be cancelled as would the authority of any attorneys. For more information on what happens to accounts following a bereavement, see our bereavement support section.

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