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Is my enduring power of attorney valid?

The Enduring Power of Attorney is the predecessor to the Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney. Thousands of these have been made throughout England and are sitting quite happily in cupboards waiting to see if they are needed. It is also likely that there are many being inappropriately used by the appointed attorneys. There is no register of documents unlike the property and affairs lasting power. We simply don't know how many have been made.

We are regularly asked whether an enduring power of attorney is still a valid document that can be used because of the new property and affairs lasting powers of attorney. The answer to this question is yes, they can.

Since 1 October 2007 you have not been able to make an enduring power of attorney. Any document that was signed by the donor and attorneys before this date remains a valid document, as long as it has been signed and witnessed correctly. It could be subject to restrictions and conditions as with the property and affairs lasting power of attorney and does not allow your attorneys to make any decisions in relation to your health and welfare needs, just finances.

If you wish to amend your enduring power of attorney, change your attorneys, add restrictions and conditions or use it if a joint attorney has died you cannot. No amendments can be made. It will be necessary for you to prepare the new property and affairs lasting power. If you do prepare the new property and affairs lasting power you should remember to cancel the existing enduring power of attorney.

The enduring power of attorney does not need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian until such time as the donor (the person who gave the power) is beginning to lose capacity. At this point an application for registration should be made by the attorneys.

As with any legal application it will not always be straightforward so the helping hand of an expert might not be a bad thing. If you would like to understand how enduring powers of

attorney work or how they are registered give us a ring to find out more.


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