From 1st October 2007 Lasting Powers of Attorney replaced the existing system of Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) in England and Wales as the tool used for people to appoint an attorney to deal with their affairs in the event of them becoming incapacitated. Enduring Powers of Attorney can no longer be made, but EPAs already existing, whether registered with the Public Guardianship Office or not, continue to be effective.

There are now two types of LPA available and they can be used individually or in conjunction with one another. They can also be used to supplement an already existing EPA. The first is the Property and Affairs LPA which covers a donor’s property and financial affairs. The second is the Personal Welfare LPA, which can be used to provide for nursing home or similar accommodation, and day-to-day personal or medical care, such as the giving or refusing of consent for medical treatment.

LPAs have been introduced with the aim of improving the previous system in place. They are considered to offer a wider scope for the attorney, to make the attorney more accountable and to better protect vulnerable donors. The principle underlying LPAs is that the donor should continue to make their own decisions for as long as they can, and as soon as the donor becomes incapacitated and unable to do so the attorney must then act in the donor’s best interests. There is also a code of practice that must be adhered to when acting as an attorney.

An LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used.

For further information on EPAs, making an LPA or registering either with the relevant body please contact us today.