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Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) could be made up until October 2007, when they were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA).
Existing EPA’s are still valid but should be reviewed to make sure that the Attorney is still willing and able to act, and that the other terms are still as you want them.
If the Attorney under an EPA thinks that the Donor is (or is becoming) unable to manage his or her affairs then they must apply to register the EPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. Failure to do so can lead the Attorney into making decisions and taking steps for the Donor which are not permitted until registration – and may therefore be unlawful.
If you have an existing EPA then we can advise as to whether it should be registered and, if so, help with its registration.
You can now use a Lasting Power of Attorney to plan ahead and arrange matters so that one or more people that you trust can be appointed to look after your affairs if you are no longer able to do so. This can be a Property & Affairs LPA or a Personal Welfare LPA – or both if you wish. As their names suggest, the ‘Property & Affairs’ LPA allows an attorney to look after your financial affairs (including your property and investments) on a day-to-day basis; and a ‘Personal Welfare’ LPA allows an attorney to monitor and assist with decisions concerning your care, medication, treatment and even where you live.
Unlike an EPA an LPA cannot be used by an Attorney until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
We can help with the preparation of the LPA itself, and its subsequent registration with the Office of the Public Guardian. Although the forms can appear daunting, we will guide you through them and explain the various decisions that have to be made, and assist you in choosing the people to take part in your LPA.
The registration fees charged by the OPG are currently £130.00 – although if the donors annual income is less than £12,000.00 then this fee will be cut to £65.00. If the donor receives Income Support, Pension Guarantee Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit (or one of a number of other benefits) then the fee will be waived completely.
We have a helpful questionnaire which you can complete and send in to us. This will answer many of the questions that we would otherwise ask at first interview, and will save us time and you money. LPA Questionnaire – PDF document
You can find more guidance by looking at the Office of the Public Guardian website at http://www.justice.gov.uk/forms/opg/lasting-power-of-attorney#making