Enduring Power of Attorney Q&A

  1. What is an Enduring Power of Attorney? 
    An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a document which appoints one or more person to act as your Attorney(s) to take control of, or assist you with, your property and financial affairs.  The EPA can be used while you are able to make decisions for yourself. If you become unable to make financial decisions for yourself then the EPA must be registered before it can be used or, if it is already being used, then it must be registered before it can continue being used. 
  2. Can new EPAs be created?
    No. It has not been possible to create new EPAs since the law changed in October 2007. However, EPAs made before October 2007 can still be used. EPAs have been replaced by Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) documents which give more options and greater protection. 
  3. Can I make an LPA if I already have an EPA?
    If you have made an EPA and still have capacity, you can keep the EPA or replace the EPA with a new Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney. You can also make an additional LPA for Health & Welfare decisions. If you would like further information on LPAs please contact us. 
  4. When should my EPA be registered?
    It is the responsibility of the Attorney to determine when to register the EPA. The EPA should only be registered if and when the Attorney believes that you are no longer mentally capable of managing your own affairs. 
  5. What happens if I have appointed more than one Attorney?
    If you appointed your Attorneys to act jointly, they must always act together so both will need to agree to register the EPA should it become necessary. However, if one of the Attorneys dies, becomes bankrupt or becomes mentally incapable, the whole Power of Attorney will be terminated and a new document will need to be put in place. As it is no longer possible to make a new EPA, you would need to put in place a new LPA instead. If you appointed your Attorneys to act jointly and severally, they can act individually or together so one Attorney can decide to register the EPA alone. However, the document would only be registered if the Office of the Public Guardian is satisfied that the other Attorney has been properly notified of the application and given the opportunity to object. Where Attorneys are appointed jointly and severally and one of them dies, becomes bankrupt or mentally incapable, the EPA will continue and the remaining Attorney will be able to act on their own as long as they are capable of doing so. 

The registration process must be correctly followed to ensure the application is not rejected by the Office of the Public Guardian. You can cancel an Enduring Power of Attorney at anytime before it is registered as long as you have mental capacity to do so by signing a formal Deed of Revocation. Before cancelling your EPA you should take legal advice and consider putting in place a new Lasting Power of Attorney.