Powers of Attorney Act 1971

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1971 c. 27


Powers of Attorney Act 1971

1971 CHAPTER 27

An Act to make new provision in relation to powers of attorney and the delegation by trustees of their trusts, powers and discretions.

[12th May 1971]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Execution of powers of attorney.

1 Execution of powers of attorney.

(1) An instrument creating a power of attorney shall be signed and sealed by, or by direction and in the presence of, the donor of the power.

(2) Where such an instrument is signed and sealed by a person by direction and in the presence of the donor of the power, two other persons shall be present as witnesses and shall attest the instrument.

(3) This section is without prejudice to any requirement in, or having effect under, any other Act as to the witnessing of instruments creating powers of attorney and does not affect the rules relating to the execution of instruments by bodies corporate.

S-2 Abolition of deposit or filing of instruments creating powers of attorney.

2 Abolition of deposit or filing of instruments creating powers of attorney.

(1) As from the commencement of this Act no instrument creating a power of attorney, and no copy of any such instrument, shall be deposited or filed at the central office of the Supreme Court or at the Land Registry under section 25 of the Trustee Act 1925 , section 125 of the Law of Property Act 1925 or section 219 of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925 .

(2) This section does not affect any right to search for, inspect or copy, or to obtain an office copy of, any such document which has been deposited or filed as aforesaid before the commencement of this Act.

S-3 Proof of instruments creating powers of attorney.

3 Proof of instruments creating powers of attorney.

(1) The contents of an instrument creating a power of attorney may be proved by means of a copy which—

( a ) is a reproduction of the original made with a photographic or other device for reproducing documents in facsimile; and

( b ) contains the following certificate or certificates signed by the donor of the power or by a solicitor or stockbroker, that is to say—

(i) a certificate at the end to the effect that the copy is a true and complete copy of the original; and

(ii) if the original consists of two or more pages, a certificate at the end of each page of the copy to the effect that it is a true and complete copy of the corresponding page of the original.

(2) Where a copy of an instrument creating a power of attorney has been made which complies with subsection (1) of this section, the contents of the instrument may also be proved by means of a copy of that copy if the further copy itself complies with that subsection, taking references in it to the original as references to the copy from which the further copy is made.

(3) In this section ‘stockbroker’ means a member of any stock exchange within the meaning of the Stock Transfer Act 1963 or the Stock Transfer Act (Northern Ireland) 1963 .

(4) This section is without prejudice to section 4 of the Evidence and Powers of Attorney Act 1940 (proof of deposited instruments by office copy) and to any other method of proof authorised by law.

(5) For the avoidance of doubt, in relation to an instrument made in Scotland the references to a power of attorney in this section and in section 4 of the Evidence and Powers of Attorney Act 1940 include references to a factory and commission.

S-4 Powers of attorney given as security.

4 Powers of attorney given as security.

(1) Where a power of attorney is expressed to be irrevocable and is given to secure—

( a ) a proprietary interest of the donee of the power; or

( b ) the performance of an obligation owed to the donee,

then, so long as the donee has that interest or the obligation remains undischarged, the power shall not be revoked—

(i) by the donor without the consent of the donee; or

(ii) by the death, incapacity or bankruptcy of the donor or, if the donor is a body corporate, by its winding up or dissolution.

(2) A power of attorney given to secure a proprietary interest may be given to the person entitled to the interest and persons deriving title under him to that interest, and those persons shall be duly constituted donees of the power for all purposes of the power but without prejudice to any right to appoint substitutes given by the power.

(3) This section applies to powers of attorney whenever created.

S-5 Protection of donee and third persons where power of attorney is revoked.

5 Protection of donee and third persons where power of attorney is revoked.

(1) A donee of a power of attorney who acts in pursuance of the power at a time when it has been revoked shall not, by reason of the revocation, incur any liability (either to the donor or to any other person) if at that time he did not know that the power had been revoked.

(2) Where a power of attorney has been revoked and a person, without knowledge of the revocation, deals with the donee of the power, the transaction between them shall, in favour of that person, be as valid as if the power had then been in existence.

(3) Where the power is expressed in the instrument creating it to be irrevocable and to be given by way of security then, unless the person dealing with the donee knows that it was not in fact given by way of security, he shall be entitled to assume that the power is incapable of revocation except by the donor acting with the consent of the donee and shall accordingly be treated for the purposes of subsection (2) of this section as having knowledge of the revocation only if he knows that it has been revoked in that manner.

(4) Where the interest of a purchaser depends on whether a transaction between the donee of a power of attorney and another person was valid by virtue of subsection (2) of this section, it shall be conclusively presumed in favour of the purchaser that that person did not at the material time know of the revocation of the power if—

( a ) the transaction between that person and the donee was completed within twelve months of the date on which the power came into operation; or

( b ) that person makes a statutory declaration, before or within three months after the completion of the purchase, that he did not at the material time know of the revocation of the power.

(5) Without prejudice to subsection (3) of this section, for the purposes of this section knowledge of the revocation of a power of attorney includes knowledge of the occurrence of any event (such as the death of the donor) which has the effect of revoking the power.

(6) In this section ‘purchaser’ and ‘purchase’ have the meanings specified in section 205(1) of the Law of Property Act 1925 .

(7) This section applies whenever the power of attorney was...

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