What is an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)?
Before the Mental Capacity Act brought Lasting Powers of Attorney into being, the Enduring Power of Attorney was the formal way of appointing others to manage your finances if you either did not wish to or were unable to.
No Enduring Powers of Attorney can be signed or amended after September 2007. From 1st October 2007, they can only be replaced with the Property and Finance LPA and not otherwise amended.
The Enduring Power of Attorney did NOT cover health and welfare matters which the new Health and Welfare LPA does.
The Enduring Power of Attorney left many matters up in the air with no one in particular in charge of making decisions as to health and welfare matters. That aspect of the new regime has greatly clarified matters, though we really don’t understand why so few people realise that where they live, religious observances and dealing with doctors and social services are crucial issues. Surely, you would wish to hand authority on such decisions to your family, not to Social Services and the Court of Protection? If you wish to avoid that, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Back to the main topic of Enduring Powers of Attorney.
EPAs could be set up as follows:
- a) so that they could be used straight away.
- b) Or so that they could only be used if the person whose EPA it is has lost the ability to make their own decisions.
In option a), it is not necessary to register the Enduring Power of Attorney to use it, unless the person was losing or had lost the ability to make decisions (“mental capacity.”)
If option b) had been chosen, the EPA could not be used under any circumstances until the person had lost mental capacity AND the enduring power of attorney had been registered.
If you or a relative have an Enduring Power of Attorney, we can help you to resolve what can or cannot be done and have the EPA registered if that is the right thing to do. If the person is still of sound mind, we very strongly recommend asking us to set up a Health and Welfare LPA in addition as Health and Welfare decisions can be some of the most emotionally charged and vital ones.