Power of Attorney
Many of you will be familiar with the term enduring power of attorney. We have been able to complete these since the Enduring Power of Attorney Act 1985 came into existence. As a result of the introduction of the Mental Capacity Act you have not been able to create a new enduring power of attorney since 1 October 2007. This does not mean that any enduring power of attorney you have is no longer valid.
A correctly signed, witnessed and dated enduring power of attorney can still be used today, in its unregistered state, as long as it has been completed on the correct form. These are not substantial forms and usually consist of about five or six pages. It becomes necessary to register an enduring power of attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian when the attorney believes the donor has become or is becoming incapable of managing their financial affairs. In short, if the donor is having more bad days than good you should start to think about registering.
Enduring powers of attorney allow a person (the donor) to give power to individuals they trust and believe will look after them (the attorney). The donor can have as many attorneys as they wish. They can choose how those attorneys are appointed to look after them, what they can do and when they can act.
The attorney under an enduring power of attorney can only make decisions about the property and affairs of the person they are looking after. No decisions can be made about their welfare.
There are many unregistered enduring powers of attorney which people have made and put in storage. With the passing of time things may need to be altered on the power; attorneys age and may have died, younger family members might now be more suitable to act as an attorney. Unfortunately, you cannot amend an enduring power of attorney so it will be necessary to complete a lasting power of attorney if your wishes change. Don't forget however to cancel the enduring power of attorney as it will still be valid. We don't want it slipping into the wrong hands!
Although we cannot make new enduring powers of attorney we can review existing documents and help to register existing documents. If you find yourself needing to register an enduring power of attorney and don't know where to start we can help. We can register these for you. We make a charge of £500 plus VAT to do this on your behalf.