PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.
The Law on Enduring Powers of Attorney has Changed
We understand that not all of our clients have Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) and we would like to bring the following to your attention.
From 1st October 2007 EPAs were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPA”).
LPAs are more complicated documents. It is necessary to register the document with the Court of Protection before it can be used, regardless of whether or not you have lost your mental capacity.
EPAs made and signed before 1st October 2007 will remain valid and can still be used. After 1st October 2007 no further EPAs can be made.
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An EPA is a document whereby you appoint one or more people to deal with your affairs. The people appointed are called your Attorneys. Your Attorney can then help manage your affairs if you become mentally or physically incapable or are unable to manage yourself for some other reason.
Who can be appointed as Attorney?
You can appoint your Spouse, children, other relatives or friends or a professional person such as a Solicitor or Accountant. Essentially, it is fundamental to appoint someone who you trust, as your Attorney will have significant powers to deal with your affairs including your finances.
What powers can my Attorney have?
You Attorney can only do what you authorise them to do. You can give your Attorney full power to deal with your finances and affairs, or limit this power. You may even restrict the document only coming into effect if you lose your mental capacity. An EPA will not prevent you from managing your own affairs and provided you have not lost your mental capacity, it can be revoked at any time.
What if I do not make an EPA?
If you lose your mental capacity someone will need to apply to the Court of Protection to deal with your affairs. This is a long, expensive and intrusive procedure that can be avoided by having an EPA.