Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA)

These could only be completed before 1st October 2007; after this date, only a Lasting Power of Attorney can be made.

  • Theses are long-term documents, which work whether the donor has lost capacity or not. These can be used without being registered, and most will never be registered at all
  • The attorney must register the EPA if the donor is becoming or has become mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs.
  • Before registering, the statutory next of kin must be notified, in a specific order laid down by the Enduring Powers of Attorney Act 1985. Sometimes this means notifying family members who may not agree with the appointment of others as attorneys, and as the duty to notify was given to the attorney/s, there was felt to be a risk that unsuitable or fraudulent attorneys might not notify and register when required, so that they can continue to act in a way that would be objected to by the family if they were informed.
  • Over the years it has been estimated that around 1 in 10 of all EPAs has been abused, usually, but not always, by family members. The new LPAs are more suitable for many people, as the donor chooses who should be notified, and notification happens before the LPA can ever be used, to enable unsuitable appointments hopefully to be spotted before any harm can occur.
  • Following the withdrawal of EPAs on 30th September 2007, no changes to existing EPAs may be made. (It is not necessary to change any power of attorney simply because somebody mentions changes their address or name). If a new/different attorney/s are to be chosen or added, or restrictions or guidance is to be recorded formally, a new LPA must be made instead.

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