What is an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)?
Enduring Powers of Attorney are the earlier version of the Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs. No new Enduring Powers of Attorney can be created. Any EPA signed from 1st October 2007 onwards is not legal.
Existing EPAs dated before that are potentially still valid. But they cannot be changed in any way. If you wished to change the attorneys for example, the Enduring Power of Attorney would have to be cancelled and replaced with the LPA Property and Financial Affairs.
The theory behind the change is that Lasting Powers of Attorney are more secure in that they MUST be registered before they can be used. Many Enduring Powers of Attorney were written so that the attorneys could act at any time if the person whose EPA it was wished them to. The concern was that there was no need to register the Enduring Power of Attorney before it was used, and this could potentially lead to fraud.
Enduring Powers of Attorney with a restriction.
If you have an Enduring Power of Attorney with a restriction which says something to the effect that it may not be used until you have lost or your attorneys believe you are losing mental capacity, then it can’t be used until it is registered.
No new EPAs – Just Lasting Powers of Attorney.
The new system has quite different problems in that it is much more complex so it costs more. Lasting Powers of Attorney cannot be used until they are registered at significant cost (but no benefit whatever apart from a stamp). This is great for increasing employment prospects for Civil Servants.
Enduring Power of Attorney – Family Must be informed of Registration.
However, the family do not have to be informed of the registration of an LPA, whereas they do have to be told when an Enduring Power of Attorney is registered – at least, one nominated family member.
We believe that the Endurng Power of Attorney was far more effective than the new Lasting Powers of Attorney, with the proviso that you have appointed attorneys you can (rightly) trust. That is a really important issue, and if the appointed attorneys on your EPA are no longer right, then you need to chance it for an LPA.