Supporting investors to manage their finances

If someone is finding it difficult to manage their affairs, they may wish for someone they trust to help them make decisions regarding their finances, health and personal welfare.  This may be in an advisory capacity, or they may grant authority for one or more third parties to act on their behalf.  In some circumstances, the court may grant such authority if the individual is unable to do so.

Before we can give information about a client’s investment, or accept instructions from any third party on behalf of a client, we will need to make sure that they have the authority to act on behalf of the client. A client can grant authority to a third party in several ways. We have set these out below. The methods of granting authority are:

Letter of Authority
This can only be used to authorise a third party to receive information from us - we will not take instructions from the third party.

Power of Attorney
There are several different types of Power of Attorney and not all may be relevant for your situation. We have set out some further information, below.

Court order
This would be relevant if no Letter of Authority, or valid Power of Attorney exists.

In order for us to protect our clients, and meet our own legal obligations (for example relating to money laundering and fraud prevention), we have strict requirements which clients and authorised third parties will need to satisfy before we can accept instructions from, or provide information to, any third party acting on behalf of a client.

In particular, we will need to register the authority on our records before we can act on it.  Our requirements for different types of authority are detailed below. 

This information is intended as a general guide to our requirements for authorised third parties and clients looking for information about granting authority to third parties. Although we have tried to ensure that this information is accurate, it is not legal advice, and anyone looking to set up or act under such arrangements should seek independent legal advice as it is important that these arrangements are entered into properly in order to be valid. Please note that there are different requirements for England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland – please consult a lawyer for further information.

If you have any questions at all about our requirements, please contact us


If you have or the client you are acting for has other policies with Aviva, if you quote the policy numbers (along with the type of policy) when writing to us, we will ensure a copy of the documents is passed to the relevant department(s) for their records to be updated as well.

Please note there may be a slight delay whilst it is being transferred between departments, but you will receive separate confirmation from each department once their records have been updated.

Likewise, if you have already registered one of the below documents with another part of Aviva, if you provide us with the policy details we can arrange for them to send us a copy so we can update our records as well.

Letter of authority

 

A letter of authority is an instruction from a client authorising us to provide information to a third party.


The letter of authority must explicitly state that we have authority to provide information to the third party and contain the following information:

• Client full name, address, and the account number(s) the authority relates to.

• Full name, address, and date of birth of the third party.

The letter must be signed by the client and dated within the last six months from when we receive it.

Please note that if any of the accounts to which the authority relates are held in joint names, we are unable to provide information to the third party for those accounts unless all joint holders have signed the letter of authority and provided the information above.

If the letter of authority does not meet our requirements, it will be rejected back to the sender.


A letter of authority can be registered with us for information purposes only.  This means that although we can provide information to an authorised person once we have registered their letter of authority, we cannot accept instructions from a third party appointed under a letter of authority.

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document drawn up by an individual (known as the donor) to appoint one or more individuals as attorneys to act on their behalf.  There are several different types of Power of Attorney in the UK.

An Ordinary Power of Attorney may be used to appoint someone to look after their affairs for a short period of time – for example due to an accident, illness or extended leave of absence.


An Ordinary Power of Attorney may be used to appoint someone to look after their affairs for a short period of time – for example due to an accident, illness or extended leave of absence.

• Ordinary Power of Attorney

This may also be known as a General Power of Attorney if there are no restrictions in the authority granted to the attorney(s), or a Limited Power of Attorney if there are restrictions imposed.

The authority granted under an Ordinary Power of Attorney will cease to be valid in certain situations, for example if the donor dies or loses mental capacity.

To appoint someone to look after their affairs for a long period of time, even after they become mentally incapable, different types of Power of Attorney are available.

• Lasting Power of Attorney (England and Wales)

There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney – one for dealing with the donor’s Property & Financial Affairs, and one for dealing with the donor’s Health & Welfare.

We can only accept instructions from attorneys appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs.

Unlike a General Power of Attorney, a Lasting Power of Attorney continues to be valid if the donor loses mental capacity.  However, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it comes into force, who will stamp the document to evidence its registration.

• Enduring Power of Attorney (England and Wales, pre-October 2007)

Before the introduction of the Lasting Power of Attorney, attorneys could be appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney, which authorises attorney(s) to deal with the donor’s legal and financial affairs.

Whilst no new Enduring Powers of Attorney can be granted, any granted prior to 1 October 2007 continue to be valid.

Unlike a Lasting Power of Attorney, the authority granted under an Enduring Power of Attorney comes into force as soon as the donor asks the attorney(s) to act on their behalf. 

However, if the donor becomes (or is becoming) mentally incapable, the Enduring Power of Attorney ceases to be valid until it has been registered with the Court of Protection, who will stamp the document to evidence its registration.

• Continuing Power of Attorney (Scotland)

In Scotland, there are two types of long term Power of Attorney – the Continuing Power of Attorney for dealing with the donor’s property & financial affairs, and the Welfare Power of Attorney for dealing with the donor’s health & welfare. 

These can be combined as a Continuing & Welfare Power of Attorney.

We can only accept instructions from attorneys appointed under a Continuing or Continuing & Welfare Power of Attorney.

Like a Lasting Power of Attorney, a Continuing or Continuing & Welfare Power of Attorney continues to be valid if the donor loses mental capacity.  However, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian in Scotland before it comes into force, who will issue a certificate of registration.

• Enduring Power of Attorney (Northern Ireland)

In Northern Ireland, attorneys may be appointed under an Enduring Power of Attorney to deal with the donor’s legal and financial affairs.

Like a Lasting Power of Attorney, an Enduring Power of Attorney continues to be valid if the donor loses mental capacity.  However, it must be registered with the Office of Care and Protection in Northern Ireland before it comes into force, who will stamp the document to evidence its registration.

For Powers of Attorney granted outside of the UK, these will need to be reviewed on case by case basis to determine whether we are able to accept the authority.  Powers of Attorney which are not in English must be accompanied by a notarised translation.


One or more attorneys may be appointed by the donor.  With a Lasting Power of Attorney, the donor may also specify replacement attorney(s), who may only act in the event the main attorney(s) are no longer able to.

If appointing more than one attorney, they may be appointed jointly, which means all attorneys must give any instructions, or jointly and severally, which means they can act together but may also act individually.  The donor may also specify restrictions requiring the attorneys to act jointly in specific matters, even if they can act severally in others. If attorneys are required to act jointly, we will only be able to act on instructions given by all attorneys.


The donor may specify restrictions as to when an attorney may act on their behalf.  

If the donor specifies the Power of Attorney does not come into force until they are physically or mentally incapable of dealing with their affairs, we would need evidence this is the case in the form of a letter from their doctor.

If the restrictions specify the attorney(s) cannot act until the donor lacks capacity to make decisions, we will be unable to register the Power of Attorney in the event of physical incapacity alone.  If this is the case, please seek independent legal advice.

We will consider any other restrictions on a case by case basis.


For ISA applications, HM Revenue & Customs regulations require the client to sign the ISA declaration unless they are physically or mentally incapable of doing so. If this is not the case, we are unable to accept the attorney(s)’ signature(s) on the donor’s behalf.


To register a Power of Attorney we need to receive either the original document or a copy certified by a solicitor, stockbroker or notary public. Alternatively, we can accept certification by the donor, if they do not lack capacity.

We must receive the full document, without any missing pages or sections.  If a certificate of registration has been issued, this must be provided with the Power of Attorney as well.

We cannot accept photocopies of Powers of Attorney, whether of the original document or a certified copy.  We also cannot accept copies certified by other professions, such as financial advisers.

We need sight of the original ink signature; therefore, we are unable to accept Powers of Attorney by email or fax.  Our postal address can be found here.

Original and certified copies will be returned by recorded delivery within 24 hours of receipt.  If we receive a photocopy, this will not be returned unless requested.


The document must be certified on every page as a true copy of the original.  The certifier must write “certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me”, sign and date the certification, print their name under the signature, write down their address, and list their professional capacity (unless certified by the donor). If any pages are not certified, the document will be rejected back to the sender. 

Certification should be preferably in blue ink, as black may appear to be a photocopy.  If the document has been certified in black ink, please note this in your covering letter. In this situation we will try to confirm that the document is not a photocopy, but we may reject the document (without notice to anyone other than the sender) if we cannot determine that it is not a photocopy. 

If the certification is dated more than 12 months ago, or is undated, we will need confirmation in writing from the donor or the attorney that the Power of Attorney has not been revoked before we are able to register the appointment.


When registering a Power of Attorney with us, we will register the appointment of all attorneys listed in the document, other than any replacement attorney(s) who will not be registered until the main attorney(s) are no longer able to act.

If any of the attorneys have changed address since being appointed, we will need confirmation of their new details. 

If any of the attorneys have changed name since being appointed, for example due to marriage, we need a written instruction signed in both their old and new name (even if their signature is unchanged) together with evidence of their change of name. Please contact us for details of acceptable evidence.


The donor may specify restrictions as to when an attorney may act on their behalf.  

If the donor specifies the Power of Attorney does not come into force until they are physically or mentally incapable of dealing with their affairs, we would need evidence this is the case in the form of a letter from their doctor.

If the restrictions specify the attorney(s) cannot act until the donor lacks capacity to make decisions, we will be unable to register the Power of Attorney in the event of physical incapacity alone.  If this is the case, please seek independent legal advice.

We will consider any other restrictions on a case by case basis.


We can hold a correspondence address on file to redirect communications to the attorney.  However, unless the client is mentally incapable, we will send correspondence to the client until instructed otherwise. If you do not wish for correspondence to be sent to the client, please let us know when sending us the Power of Attorney.

Although we can hold a correspondence address, we must also hold the client’s permanent residential address on file. If the client has changed address (e.g. moved into a nursing home) we will need confirmation so we can update our records.

Please note that when we send automated letters to an attorney, the addressee details and salutation are amended to those of the attorney, but the rest of the content remains as it would if the letter were being sent directly to the underlying customer.  So where these letters refer to “your”, this is a reference to the customer, rather than (and despite the letter being addressed to) the attorney.


Money Laundering Regulations requires us to obtain verification evidence for all third-parties to an investment, including attorneys.  Further details, along with our requirements, can be found under the Verifying your identity section of our Frequently asked questions.

You may therefore wish to provide verification evidence for each attorney when registering the Power of Attorney with us to avoid future delays.

We may also require verification evidence for the client if this has not previously been obtained. We will not be able to confirm whether this is the case until after the Power of Attorney has been registered, due to Data Protection regulations.


Withdrawal proceeds cannot be paid to a third-party, and can only be made payable in the name of the client, or to a designated attorney bank account in the name “<Attorney Name> as attorney for <Client Name>”


For general enquiries, you may find the following links useful.

Making decisions on behalf of someone – UK Government advice

Lasting Power of Attorney (England and Wales)

Continuing Power of Attorney (Scotland)

Enduring Power of Attorney (Northern Ireland)

If you have any legal questions, we would advise you to seek independent legal advice if you have any questions regarding Powers of Attorney or Letters of Authority.

Court order

If someone is no longer able to manage their affairs and does not have a Power of Attorney in place, a family member, close friend or other trusted individual may apply to the Court to be appointed to act on their behalf.


If someone is no longer able to manage their affairs and does not have a Power of Attorney in place, a family member, close friend or other trusted individual may apply to the Court to be appointed to act on their behalf. The Court may appoint more than one person, who may make decisions separately or jointly, depending on the court ruling.

The type of Court order depends where the subject lives. The links below provide more information on applying for a Court order, and the responsibilities this entails.

-        In England and Wales, the Court of Protection appoints a Deputy

-        In Scotland, the Office of Public Guardian appoints a Guardian

-        In Northern Ireland, the Office of Care and Protection appoints a Controller

If you require more information about Court orders, we would advise you to seek independent legal advice.


The Court has strict rules about what a deputy, guardian or controller may do with their authority.  The Court order may specify further restrictions in the activity the deputy / guardian / controller may undertake.  Any such restrictions will be considered on a case by case basis.

More information about the responsibilities of a deputy, guardian or controller can be found at the links above.


To register the appointment of a deputy, guardian or controller, we require sight of the original court-sealed Court order. Therefore, we are unable to accept Court orders by email or fax.  Our postal address can be found here.

For Court orders granted outside of the UK, these will need to be reviewed on case by case basis to determine whether we are able to accept the authority.  Court orders which are not in English must be accompanied by a notarised translation.



We can hold a correspondence address on file to redirect communications to the deputy / guardian / controller, and will update our records to do so on registration of the Court order.

Although we can hold a correspondence address, we must also hold the client’s permanent residential address on file. If the client has changed address (e.g. moved into a nursing home) we will need confirmation so we can update our records.

Please note that when we send automated letters to a deputy / guardian / controller, the addressee details and salutation are amended to those of the deputy / guardian / controller, but the rest of the content remains as it would if the letter were being sent directly to the underlying customer.  So where these letters refer to “your”, this is a reference to the customer, rather than (and despite the letter being addressed to) the deputy / guardian / controller.


Whilst it is not required to register the Court order, we may require verification evidence for the client if this has not previously been obtained. We will not be able to confirm whether this is the case until after the Court order has been registered, due to Data Protection regulations.

Further details, along with our requirements, can be found under the Verifying your identity section of our Frequently Asked Questions.


Unless the Court order otherwise specifies, withdrawal proceeds cannot be paid to a third-party and can only be made payable in the name of the client, or to a designated bank account in the name

-        “<Deputy Name> as deputy for <Client Name>”

-        “<Guardian Name> as guardian for <Client Name>”

-        “<Controller Name> as controller for <Client Name>”