An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document whereby you can appoint people (‘Attorneys’) to help make or make decisions regarding property and finances.
Examples of decisions Attorneys can make under Enduring Powers of Attorney include (but are not limited to):
- Accessing bank accounts;
- Paying bills;
- Selling property; and
- Managing investments, pensions and other benefits.
On 1 October 2007 Lasting Powers of Attorney were introduced, replacing the Enduring Power of Attorney system. In addition to appointing Attorneys to help make or make decisions relating to your finances you can also appoint Attorneys to help make or make decisions relating to your health and welfare.
There are many differences between Enduring Power of Attorney and Lasting Powers of Attorney but it is important to note that if you correctly implemented an Enduring Power of Attorney it will still be valid.
Your Attorneys can begin to act for you under your Enduring Power of Attorney if they have your permission to do so.
In the event that you begin to lose, or lose, your mental capacity then the Enduring Power of Attorney must be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used by the Attorneys.
There is a strict procedure that the Attorneys must follow when registering an Enduring Power of Attorney at the Office of the Public Guardian. This involves:
- Informing the the donor, their family members and other attorneys that they intend to register the Enduring Power of Attorney.
- Completing the Application form to register the Enduring Power of Attorney.
- Pay the fee (currently £82) to the Office of the Public Guardian.
Once submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian it can take some 8-10 weeks for the Enduring Power of Attorney to come back registered and ready for the Attorneys to begin acting.
Whereas a correctly executed Enduring Power of Attorney can still be used for decisions relating to property and finances, it cannot be used for decisions relating to health and welfare decisions, as I touched upon above. It is therefore advisable that a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare is put in place to allow your Attorneys to help make, or make, health and welfare decisions.