Does My Will Include Power of Attorney?

Lots of people believe that when they get a will, they get Power of Attorney too. But is this the truth?

Is Power of Attorney included in your will?

The short answer is no.

Power of Attorney isn’t included as part of your will.

It might make sense to you that your will’s primary benefactor, like your partner, would become your attorney if something happened to you, but without that explicit instruction, how can anyone be sure? How can it  be proved if challenged in a court of law?

In the eyes of the law, a will and a Power of Attorney are separate legal documents.

Check out ‘Your complete guide to Power of Attorney’


Power of Attorney vs. writing a will

A will is a legal document that says, ‘when I pass away, I want that to go to this person.’

A Power of Attorney document says, ‘If something happens to me, I want this person to help me make decisions about Y.’

Unlike a will, Power of Attorney is really a type of insurance policy. You hope you won’t need it, but it’s there in case something happens.

If you’re in an accident, or you’re diagnosed with a medical condition, or even if you’re just leaving the country for a short time, the document keeps you in control, letting you make decisions with the help of someone you trust.

Depending on the type of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) you get, your representatives can help you look after your money, medical care, and your home.

If you’re thinking about updating or writing a will, it’s often quicker and cheaper to have your solicitor draft a Power of Attorney document at the same time.


Laws around Power of Attorney and wills

Your chosen attorney can’t change your will. And they can’t make a new will to replace your old one.

In fact, once you pass away, Power of Attorney ceases, so they have no control over how your estate is distributed unless acting as an executor of the will. Even then, they must follow your final wishes, unless all beneficiaries of a will agree to make a change using a deed of variation.

Find out ‘What your attorney can and can’t do’

If you don’t have a will, the person acting on your behalf can apply to the Court of Protection for a statutory will. However, it’s best to talk to a solicitor first, as someone who is considered unable to manage their own money may still be able to make a will.

It’s usually better to have a statutory will in place, rather than pass away without a will (known as ‘dying intestate’). Without a will, the courts will decide who benefits from your assets – and your gifts may not go to the people you want.

For this reason, it’s always best to outline explicit instructions – in both your LPA and your will. Power of Attorney means you’re always in control, even when you can no longer make decisions for yourself.

See ‘How to maintain your control with Power of Attorney’

Chat to a solicitor, as they can guide you through the Power of Attorney process, making sure you get it right first time. Your LPA  

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