An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is when you (the 'Donor') appoint a trusted person (the 'Attorney') to act on your behalf.
The highly experienced team at Turner Hopkins understands that setting up an EPA can be a daunting task and we can guide you through the potential issues to reduce the risk of the Donor misusing their powers and not acting in your best interest.
There are two types of EPAs:
- EPA for Personal Care and Welfare - covers decisions about your personal care and welfare. This includes all decisions about medical treatment, hospitalization and personal issues if you become mentally incapable to do this yourself. You may only appoint one attorney and one substitute attorney.
- EPA for Property – covers the ongoing administration and management of your property and finances. With an EPA for Property you can choose whether the EPA comes into effect straight away, or only when you can no longer manage your affairs. You may appoint several attorneys and substitute attorneys who can act jointly or severally.
The most important thing when choosing an attorney is to chose someone you trust who will act in your best interest. While you can appoint the same person to be your attorney for both EPA for Property and EPA for Personal Care and Welfare, Turner Hopkins suggests that different people are appointed as different skill sets are required. The two attorneys will need to work together when making decisions on your behalf, so it is important to appoint attorneys who work well together. You can also write into your EPA that certain people (eg. family members, your longstanding GP) need to be consulted prior to the attorneys making decisions on your behalf, which adds a further level of protection.
While we can take instructions by way of email, if your wishes are complicated we prefer to sit down with our clients and discuss their instructions in person. A carefully thought out EPA will assist with the Attorney acting in your best interests and reduce family disagreements during what may be a stressful time for all involved. Turner Hopkins will also ensure that the EPA complies with the technical requirements of the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act (e.g. an attorney must be at least 20 years old and have mental capacity and not be a bankrupt etc).
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What are Enduring Powers of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney ('EPA') is a legal arrangement where one person ('the donor') authorises another person ('the attorney') to act on their behalf. An EPA can, depending on the donor's wishes, either grant the attorney wide general rights or rights limited by conditions and restrictions imposed by the donor.
Are there different types of Enduring Powers of Attorney?
Yes. The two types of EPAs are:
- EPA in relation to personal care and welfare – a donor may authorise their attorney to act in relation to the donor's personal care and welfare such as medical treatment and selection/admission of the donor into residential care or a rest home.
- EPA in relation to property – a donor may authorise their attorney to act in matters concerning the whole or a specified part of the donor's property. Unless restricted, this EPA can be used for any 'property' of the donor, including borrowing, operation of bank accounts, and almost all financial or property decisions the donor could otherwise make personally.
Why do I need Enduring Powers of Attorney?
An EPA is like an insurance policy. If you lose capacity and you don't have an EPA there is no one who is able to make decisions on your behalf. This means that potentially members of your family will need to go to Court to get property and welfare orders.