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The Eric Whitehead Partnership

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ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY PROBLEMS

By now, most people will be aware that Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) were replaced by Property and Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in October 2007, but that any existing EPA executed before October 2007 remains valid (subject to the requirement for registration at the Office of the Public Guardian in the event of the Donor losing mental capacity).

EPAs and Property and Affairs LPAs are documents in which someone authorises someone else to deal with their property and affairs, usually in the event of their mental incapacity.

There are now an ever decreasing number of EPAs in circulation and their use is now becoming less and less common in light of the new Property and Affairs LPA regime.  As a result, banks, building societies and other financial institutions are becoming less familiar with EPAs.  We have come across numerous examples recently when clients have told us that they are having difficulties in having a relative’s EPA accepted or even recognised by a bank, building society or other institution.  Conversely, very few clients, if any, report back to us that they have had difficulties in having a Property and Affairs LPA accepted and recognised.

As a result, we have concluded that even if a person has an EPA in place it may be worth them bringing their affairs up to date by executing a Property and Affairs LPA and then revoking their old EPA.

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