Prior to 2007, many people prepared an Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) which nominates an Attorney of your choosing, and who you trust, to act on your behalf, if you were unable to manage your own affairs, for example – if you have dementia. Would the attorneys still know where to find the document when it’s needed?
An Attorney who is nominated in a Power of Attorney can only legally act as the Attorney when the EPA or LPA has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. There is a fee charged by the OPG for this (currently £82 per document) and the process currently takes approx. 2-3 months.
In addition to this, over the last few years, the OPG have become stricter in the interpretation of EPA and LPA documents, and many are rejected at the point of registration due to incorrect or inconsistent information – dates, full names, witnesses, restrictions etc.
Why should you now make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
In 2007 the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) was introduced in place of the Enduring Power of Attorney, and the new LPA gives added benefits, such as:
- being able to register with OPG immediately, ready to use as soon as it’s required, not having to wait 2-3 months when you realise it’s needed;
- certainty that the LPA is valid and will not be rejected (an EPA can only be registered at the point of mental incapacity and so if the EPA is rejected it cannot be re-made or submitted);
- an LPA is not just used in the event of loss of mental capacity – you have the ability to authorise Attorneys to act on your behalf (with your authority) in case of physical incapacity (ie., stroke, accident, hospitalisation) or simply convenience (long term holiday or delegation);
- 2 different versions – an LPA for Health and Welfare, in addition to the Property & Financial Affairs;
- the ability to nominate one or several attorneys, and also reserve attorneys, in addition to other contacts to be notified;
- If an EPA is rejected at the time of registration, the only alternative option is to apply to the Court of Protection which is much more costly, takes far longer (6-18 months), and only offers restricted powers to appointed deputies, who may not be the same people you have chosen to be your Attorney. With an LPA, it is simply amended and re-submitted.
- If you are a business owner, you can prepare an LPA to deal specifically with your business in the event that you lack capacity (physical or mental) and you wish your business to continue.
If you want to find out more about the rights and restrictions for someone acting as an Attorney, who you can and should choose and when you might need their help, then give me a call and I’ll be happy to answer these questions. Call or text: Jenny Fothergill – APS Legal Beverley – 07796 858289.