Making a power of attorney takes time and a good deal of thought. So, the last thing you want to do is fall down at the last hurdle: signing it in front of an appropriate witness. Here, we’ve created a quick guide on who can witness a power of attorney signature — and who can’t.

 

Witnessing the donor’s signature on a power of attorney

The donor is the person who is making the power of attorney. They are giving someone else the ability to make decisions on their behalf.

If you’re the donor, you’ll sign the completed power of attorney form first. And your signature needs to be witnessed.

If you’re signing the PoA yourself, then you only need one witness. If someone else is signing it for you (for example, if you’re not able to hold a pen) then you’ll need two.

So, who can be a witness for a power of attorney? 

  • They must be over 18
  • They could be your certificate provider (this is often easiest)

But they should NOT be:

  • Your attorney
  • Your replacement attorney
  • Someone who works for a trust corporation that is your attorney or replacement attorney (this one is for financial PoAs only)

Once you have signed the power of attorney form, your witness(es) should sign right away.

 

Next comes the certificate provider

The certificate provider can sign without a witness! So, moving on…

 

Witnessing the attorney’s signature on a power of attorney

After the certificate provider has signed, it’s time for the attorney(s) and replacement attorneys to do it. Ideally as soon as possible.

Someone needs to witness each attorney and each replacement attorney signing the power of attorney form. Here are the rules on who can witness a lasting power of attorney this time:

  • The witness must be over 18
  • The same witness can watch all attorneys and replacements sign
  • Attorneys and replacements can all witness each other signing
  • The certificate provider could also be a witness

And one rule on who can’t:

  • The donor CANNOT witness these signatures

 

For more advice on making a power of attorney

Now you know who can sign as witness for a power of attorney! But there’s so much more to learn. Find out more about making a power of attorney here.

 

Don’t forget!

If you’ve made a power of attorney, then you probably know that a will should be next on your to-do list. It’s an important step — essential if you want to protect your family in case something happens to you.

  • Beyond offers simple wills for just £90 for one person or £135 for a couple. That’s hundreds less than a traditional solicitor. 
  • You can do the whole thing online, getting expert advice from our team over the phone or via chat. 
  • And it takes just 15 minutes to take care of. 

It’s that easy! Find out more about our online will service here.

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