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When it comes to managing the financial affairs of a loved one, whether they’re unable to do so themselves due to incapacity or have passed away, navigating the legal and financial processes can be daunting. One crucial step in this journey is obtaining a Letter of Authority from a bank, a document that grants you the legal right to access and manage someone else’s bank accounts and financial matters. This guide aims to demystify the process, providing you with a straightforward path to securing a Letter of Authority and ensuring the financial affairs of your loved one are handled with care and legality.

Understanding the Letter of Authority

A Letter of Authority is not just a piece of paper; it’s a beacon of light in the complex world of financial management on behalf of someone else. It’s essential for those who find themselves needing to pay bills, access funds, or manage the estate of someone who can no longer do it themselves or has passed away.

When Do You Need a Letter of Authority?

You might need to obtain this document in several situations, such as:

  • Managing Affairs for Someone Else: If a family member or friend is incapacitated due to illness or injury and can’t manage their financial affairs.
  • Dealing with the Financial Affairs of Someone Who Has Died: To access and distribute the deceased’s assets as per their will or the law.
Do I need a Letter of Authority for my situation?

The Process of Obtaining a Letter of Authority

Securing a Letter of Authority involves several steps, each important to ensure you’re legally recognized to act on someone else’s behalf.

Step 1: Determine the Need

First, assess whether a Letter of Authority is the right document for your situation. If you’re managing the affairs of someone incapacitated, you might need a Power of Attorney instead. For those dealing with an estate, the requirement might be a Grant of Probate or a Letter of Administration if there’s no will.

Step 2: Contact the Bank

Once you’ve determined a Letter of Authority is needed, the next step is to contact the bank. Each bank has its own process, but generally, you’ll need to provide:

  • Proof of your identity and address.
  • The account holder’s details.
  • Documentation proving your right to act (e.g., a death certificate for deceased estates or a medical certificate for incapacitated individuals).

Step 3: Submit the Required Documents

After contacting the bank, you’ll likely need to fill out an application form and submit it alongside the required documents. The bank will review your application and, if everything is in order, issue the Letter of Authority.

Step 4: Using the Letter of Authority

With the Letter of Authority in hand, you can now act on behalf of the account holder. This includes accessing funds, paying bills, and making financial decisions within the scope defined by the letter.

Need help deciding if you need a Letter of Authority or a different document? Chat with us now!
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Tips for a Smooth Process

  • Be Prepared: Gather all necessary documents before contacting the bank to speed up the process.
  • Stay Informed: Each bank’s process might differ slightly. Always ask for a clear outline of the steps involved.
  • Seek Legal Advice: If you’re unsure about any part of the process, consulting with a legal professional can provide clarity and assurance.
Which documents do I need to gather before contacting my bank?

How Contend Can Help

At Contend, we understand that dealing with financial affairs, especially in times of emotional stress, can be overwhelming. Our AI-driven legal assistance platform is designed to simplify this process for you. Chat with our AI legal assistant to get clear, concise advice on obtaining a Letter of Authority and managing financial affairs. Our platform, built by lawyers and legal experts, ensures you receive trustworthy and accurate guidance.

The Contend Advantage

  • Quick Answers: Get the information you need in 5 minutes or less.
  • Customized Guidance: Our AI technology provides advice tailored to your specific situation.
  • Trustworthy and Secure: Built with your privacy in mind, offering secure and reliable legal assistance.
How do I obtain a Letter of Authority for my financial matters?

Taking the Next Step

Dealing with a loved one’s financial affairs doesn’t have to be a journey you take alone. With the right information and support, obtaining a Letter of Authority can be a straightforward process, allowing you to focus on what truly matters – caring for your loved one or honoring their memory.

In conclusion, obtaining a Letter of Authority is a crucial step in managing the financial affairs of someone else, whether due to incapacity or death. By following the outlined steps and utilizing resources like Lasting Power of Attorney on GOV.UK, you can ensure that you’re acting within the bounds of the law, providing the care and respect your loved one’s financial matters deserve.

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This material is for general information only and does not constitute
tax, legal or any other form of advice. You should not rely on any
information contained herein to make (or refrain from making) any
decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your
own particular situation. Contend Inc is not regulated by the
Solicitor’s Regulation Authority.