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Enduring power of attorney

Enduring power of attorney

Contrary to the Lasting power of attorney (LPA), the enduring power of attorney (EPA) does not need to be registered in order to give your attorney(s) the authority to act on your behalf. Your attorney(s) are duly authorised to act on your behalf as soon as the EPA has been properly signed. However, if you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself, the attorney(s) will lose their authority to act on your behalf until after your EPA is registered.

EPAs can no longer be created in England & Wales, although EPAs created and signed before 1 October 2007 are still valid and may still be registered.

You can find out when and how to register an EPA in the article Enduring power of attorney. If you already have an EPA and want to replace it with an LPA for property and financial affairs you will first have to revoke it. If the EPA has been registered, you will need to apply for permission from the Court of Protection before it can be revoked.

There are numerous differences between an EPA and an LPA, but probably the most significant is that the EPA can't be used to give your attorney(s) the authority to act on your behalf about any decisions relating to your personal health and welfare. Attorney(s) appointed in an EPA can only make decisions about your property and financial affairs.

What the enduring power of attorney does

Like the LPA, an EPA enables you to plan ahead whilst you are of sound mind in anticipation of the possibility of not being mentally capable at some future date. It gives you the opportunity to decide who would be best to deal with your assets and financial interests on your behalf and what instructions to give the attorney(s).

As the EPA does not allow the appointment of an attorney to deal with your health and welfare issues, you would need to create an LPA to provide for this. If you already have an EPA you could keep it for your financial affairs, and only create a new 'Lasting power of attorney for health and welfare' for matters relating to your health and welfare. For more information, read the Lasting power of attorney section above.

Revoking an enduring power of attorney

If you already have an EPA and wish to create an LPA for property and financial affairs instead, you will need to revoke (How to revoke a power of attorney) your EPA. If the EPA has been registered, you will need to apply for permission from the Court of Protection before it can be revoked. The best way to revoke an EPA is to sign a formal document called a 'Deed of Revocation'. You will need legal advice for this. After revoking the document, you can then create a new LPA for property and financial affairs.

Other jurisdictions

This article only applies to EPAs in England & Wales. See the article on EPAs in Northern Ireland (Enduring power of attorney) for more information.

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