Legal Q&A: EPAs and LPAs

Q. I made an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) a few years ago and I have heard that these have now been replaced with Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA).  Is my existing arrangement still valid? 

A. Enduring Powers of Attorney were replaced in October 2007 with Lasting Powers of Attorney.  If your EPA was correctly prepared and executed before 1 October 2007 a replacement is not required.  A solicitor can assist you if you are unsure as to whether your EPA is valid.

It is also important to note that an EPA appoints attorneys who can make decisions about your property and affairs and authorises them to access your bank accounts, investments, and pay your bills and sell or purchase property on your behalf.  When the new LPAs were introduced a new LPA for Health and Care decisions was created.  This is a separate document in which you can appoint attorneys to make decisions about your health and welfare such as who you see, where you live and the care and medical treatment that you receive.  In addition, you can also authorise your attorneys to make decisions to consent or refuse life sustaining medical treatment on your behalf.  The attorneys can only make decisions about these matters if you lack mental capacity to do so yourself.

I recommend considering whether it would be appropriate to make an LPA for your Health and Care decisions to supplement your existing EPA. 

To speak to Claire Clarke about any aspect of Trusts and Probate Law call 01572 725774 or email claire.clarke@hegarty.co.uk