Power of Attorney

Enduring Power of Attorneys

Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) has been replaced by a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), however if you made and signed an EPA before October 2007, it is still valid.

You might already be using it without having registered it, so that someone can act on your behalf (unlike a Lasting Power of Attorney which must be registered with The Office of the Public Guardian)

An EPA deals only with property and affairs, which includes financial affairs and accessing the person’s information.

It is no longer possible to create an EPA as they were made under a previous law, the Enduring Powers of Attorney Act 1985, before the Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into effect in this area. An

EPA made before October 1 2007 remains valid.

Lasting Power of Attorneys

So what do they do and who should have one.

Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPA) are used to protect an individual.

Anyone who is aged 18 or older who has the mental ability to make decisions for themselves can arrange for someone else to make these decisions for them in the future. This legal authority is called “power of attorney”.

The person who is given power of attorney is known as the “attorney” and must be over 18 years old. The person who is giving the power of attorney is known as the “donor”.

Appointing attorneys

A donor can appoint just one attorney, or more than one attorney, to act as follows:

  • “jointly” – they must always make decisions together
  • “jointly and severally” – they have to make some decisions together and some individually
  • “jointly” on some matters, and “jointly and severally” on others

For example, someone can appoint attorneys to act jointly when making decisions over their money, but state that only one attorney, acting independently (or severally), should decide where the person should live. The person has the right to say the attorneys must act jointly on all their affairs.

If more than one attorney is appointed to deal with the same issue, they must act jointly unless the power of attorney states they do not need to. The attorneys must agree before they act on the issue.

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