Substitute attorneys

Taking up the role of a substitute attorney

If the granter appointed a substitute attorney, the details will be stated in the power of attorney (PoA) document. Before you can take up the role, we will need a signed letter from you to let us know you are willing to act. If you have been granted continuing powers, we also need confirmation that you are not bankrupt or that a protected trust deed is not in place. More information now follows:

Taking up the role after the death of an attorney

If you have been appointed as a substitute attorney you should notify us of the death of the sole attorney and confirm in writing that you are willing to act as the attorney. We will then update the public register and issue you a new certificate of registration and copy of the PoA.

Taking up the role where the attorney wishes to resign

 An attorney wishing to resign must notify us in writing of their resignation. This should include a signed letter from you as the named substitute attorney confirming you are willing to act.

This confirmation allows the resignation of the attorney to be effective immediately. This means you as the appointed substitute attorney will  then be able to take up the role once you receive the new certificate of registration and copy of the PoA document we issue.

If the substitute attorney does not confirm that they are willing to act, the resignation will not come into effect for 28 days.

We will update the public register and notify the local authority and the Mental Welfare Commission when a welfare attorney resigns.

Taking up the role when an attorney becomes incapable

If an attorney becomes incapable we will need to be notified in writing. We can accept notification without a medical opinion from:  

  • The granter
  • Solicitor
  • Local authority mental health officer or social worker  

However, if a joint or any substitute attorney or the attorney’s representative notifies us of the position, we will require a medical opinion to confirm the attorney’s incapacity.

We appreciate that there may be circumstances where a medical opinion cannot be produced. If this should happen we will write to the attorney to advise that we have been notified of their incapacity and allow 21 days for them to make representation if they disagree.

What happens on the death of the granter?

As the attorney you must notify us in writing of the death a granter. A copy of the death certificate will be required, too.