Changes to the enduring power of attorney regime

An enduring power of attorney (or EPA) is a legal document under which a person (the donor) gives someone else (the attorney) the authority to act on his or her behalf if he or she is unable to do so. There are two types of EPA:

  1. An EPA in relation to property which relates to the donor’s property (eg real estate, bank accounts and shares).
  2. An EPA in relation to personal care and welfare which authorises the attorney to act on the donor’s behalf if he or she is unable to take care of him or herself.

The law relating to EPAs is changing on 16 March 2017 and this means:

New forms

New forms, written in plain language, need to be used from 16 March. The old forms will no longer be effective. Any EPAs signed by the donor and the attorney prior to 16 March will remain effective.

New explanations

There will be new standard, plain language forms that can be given to the donor to help him or her understand the implications and effects of signing the EPA.

Consultation

When acting under an EPA, an attorney will need to consult with any other attorney appointed by the donor under the EPA or under any other EPA (as well as the donor (as far as practicable) and any person specified in the EPA to be consulted).

Revoking old EPAs

The donor will have the opportunity to tick a box on the new form revoking an earlier EPA. It will be necessary to give notice of the revocation of appointment to the attorney appointed under the old EPA. However, the notice requirements are simpler than they are at present and may be exercised by the new attorney.

Medical certificates

In some cases an EPA becomes effective on incapacity. A certificate of a donor’s incapacity will no longer need to be on a prescribed form.

Further information

This is a general summary only. If you have any queries or require further detail, please contact your usual TGT Legal adviser.

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