Banks improve their handling of powers of attorney

by Sarah Ashcroft

A power of attorney is a hugely important document that effectively puts one person's future in the hands of another - usually a family member or a close friend. It's a wise move to put one in place, as it ensures your welfare will be in the hands of somebody you trust should you become unable to make your own decisions.

For the individual who is handed control, a power of attorney can often be a stressful and time-consuming matter. However, the good news is that new measures and regulations are being introduced to reduce the burden.

The British Bankers' Association (BBA) has launched new guidelines that provide the ideal framework for bank and building society staff. This will allow them to gain all of the information they require to help people carry out their power of attorney duties successfully and efficiently.

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, president of the Law Society, told the Independent: "We recognised that there were unnecessary burdens placed on people at times of great stress. There were no uniform procedures in place, which resulted in stressful delays and difficulties, sometimes resulting in considerable hardship."

Obtaining a power of attorney often tends to be only half the battle for those concerned for a friend or relative. Some banks and building societies still fail to recognise and understand the documents, leading to problems when it comes to managing somebody's financial affairs.

But under the new procedure, it will be easier than ever for access to money to be achieved and transfers to be made. This is sure to be good news for all those who wish to create a power of attorney and the many thousands who are handed responsibility as part of them.

Anthony Browne, chief executive of the BBA, added that there is plenty of stress and inconvenience surrounding powers of attorney at the moment, but this should become a thing of the past, at least when it comes to dealing with banks and building societies.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801568584-ADNFCR

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Published on: April 9, 2013

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