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Enduring Powers of Attorney

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPA”)?

Before October 2007, people could make an EPA so that a trusted person (or persons) of their choice could act for them if they could no longer manage their finances and make decisions about their property and affairs. Any EPA remains valid (whether or not it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (“the OPG”), provided that both the person making the Power (“the Donor”) and the attorney(s) signed the document prior to 1 October 2007.

Since 1 October 2007 you can no longer create an EPA as The Mental Capacity Act 2005 changed the system and now only Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPA’s”) can be made. (See our separate guidance).

An EPA can be used whilst the Donor still has mental capacity, providing they consent to its use. If they start to lose mental capacity to manage their finances, the attorney(s) is under a duty to register the EPA with the OPG.

While the registration is being processed, the attorney(s) can use the Donor’s finances for essentials on their behalf such as paying for food or payment of regular bills. However, they will not be able to deal with larger transactions such as the sale of a house until the EPA has been registered with the OPG.

We can offer advice, help and register an EPA with the OPG when the person who made the EPA has become or is becoming mentally incapable. Please contact us for a free consultation if you would like advice on whether an EPA needs to be registered.

When do I register the EPA?

If you have been appointed as an attorney under an EPA, you must apply to register it when the person who made the EPA (called the ’Donor’) is or is becoming mentally incapable of handling their own affairs.

Do I have to provide medical evidence?

This is not necessary unless the EPA says that you must do so. If you are in any doubt, contact us at Wilson Browne Solicitors to discuss.

When I have applied to register the EPA, what powers do I have?

Once you have made the application, you have limited powers to maintain the Donor and prevent any loss to their money and property. You will have full powers under the EPA once it is registered.

Do I have to tell anyone that I am registering the EPA?

You must tell the Donor that you intend to register the EPA. You must also tell at least three of the Donor’s relatives.

There is an order of priority for telling relatives and if there is more than one person in any of these classes of relatives, you must tell them all. You must also tell any attorneys who were appointed ‘jointly and severally’ but who are not making the application to register the EPA.

As Attorney, must I be the one to give notice?

It should be you but it can be someone else on your behalf if it is not possible for you to serve notice.

How much will it cost to register an EPA?

In most circumstances, Wilson Browne can offer registration of an EPA on a fixed cost basis, please contact us to discuss.

If you require any further advice please contact our Specialist Team