Prior to 2007, many people who made powers of attorney would have made Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs). EPAs were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney in October 2007, so it is no longer possible to make a new EPA. However, many existing EPAs will still be valid and may still be used by the relevant attorneys if needed.
What does an EPA Cover?
EPAs cover a person’s property and financial affairs only, not their health and welfare affairs. If you have an existing EPA and wish to appoint attorneys to be able to make health and welfare decisions for you, for instance the care and treatment you receive or where you should live, you will need to make a new Health & Welfare LPA to allow your attorneys to deal with this. You may also wish to put a Property & Finances LPA in place at the same time, to ensure that all of your affairs are up to date and both powers of attorney contain all of the information that may be needed.
What is the difference between EPAs and LPAs?
One of the main differences between EPAs and LPAs is the registration process. LPAs can be, and usually are, registered immediately so that the attorneys can use them straightaway when the need arises. However, EPAs may only be registered when the person starts to lose mental capacity, so it is the responsibility of the attorneys to keep this under review and check whether registration needs to take place. It can of course be tricky to decide whether the person is losing capacity or not, so it is often useful to involve a medical professional to confirm any concerns.
The registration process is relatively straightforward although certain people will need to be notified of the application. Complications may also arise if multiple attorneys are appointed but the attorneys are not agreed on the need to register, or if only one attorney wishes to register the EPA, for example. Attorneys may therefore need professional input and advice.