Enduring Powers of Attorney – I or a family member has one, what do I do?

Until 1st October 2007, it was possible to appoint attorneys to safeguard your financial affairs under an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA).

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An EPA is a legal authority granted to one or more people, known as attorneys, by a mentally capable person to act on their behalf in property and financial matters should they lose mental capacity.

An EPA can be used before it is registered, provided that the person granting the power (the donor) has mental capacity. However, if the donor has lost capacity or it becomes apparent that they may be losing mental capacity, an EPA cannot be used until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. An EPA made before 1st October 2007 remains valid and can be registered as long as the donor is alive. During the period registration, attorneys can only use the EPA in limited ways.

The pitfall of an EPA is that it only gives authority to deal with financial affairs. If you become mentally incapable, your attorneys have no authority to act in respect of your health and welfare.

If you have a loved one or family member who executed an EPA before 1st October 2007 and is losing or has lost mental capacity, our team are more than happy to assist with the registration process.

Alternatively, if you are reading this and you have an unregistered EPA and have mental capacity to make your own decisions, you should consider making Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) to replace your EPA.

What is the difference between lasting and enduring power of attorney?

There are a few differences when it comes to EPAs and LPAs. EPAs can be used immediately after they are signed, but can only be used following a loss of capacity following registration, whereas LPAs can’t be used until they are registered and can be used with or without capacity depending on the person’s stated preference. Lasting power of attorney for health and welfare can only be used following the loss of capacity.

LPAs superseded EPAs following a review that determined a more robust and complex system should be put in place. LPAs enable you to appoint a trusted person to manage your property & financial affairs and health & welfare, should you become mentally incapable.

Speak to our dedicated team of solicitors today

If you would like to obtain more information or schedule an appointment to discuss your situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact us on 0191 2503200 or email probate@browells.co.uk

All initial 30 minute consultations are free of charge.

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