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What’s the difference between an EPA and an LPA?

Many people go through life without a second thought about what may happen in the future, as a result, a Lasting Power of Attorney isn’t always at the forefront of people’s minds, however, it should be.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows you to appoint someone to take care of your affairs and act as your representative. However, many people have previously created an Enduring Power of Attorney. But are they the same and do they hold the same powers?

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)
An Enduring Power of Attorney is what preceded the Lasting Power of Attorney before they came into existence on 1st October 2007. If you have already created an enduring power of attorney before the date of 1st October 2007, it will still be effective and valid, however an Enduring Power of Attorney is much more limited in their application than a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
Unlike an Enduring Power of Attorney, there are two types of LPA’s which offer much more flexibility in their use. The first is a Health and Welfare LPA. This deals with your health and welfare decisions such as the medical treatment you receive, such as life sustaining treatment. This can only be used after you have lost mental capacity to make your own decisions. The second type is Property and Financial affairs, this deals with paying bills, buying or selling your property and managing your bank accounts. 

This can be used before or after someone loses their mental capacity. LPAs have the option to allow a donor (the person making the LPA) to register the LPA with immediate effect. However, those who have created an EPA, are more restricted as an EPA can only be registered by an attorney once a person has started to lose mental capacity. LPAs are more ‘secure’ as you have to have a certificate provider who signs the document to confirm that the person making the LPA understands the power they are giving and is not subject to any undue influence or pressure and therefore the attorneys may act as soon as the donor is unable to mentally or physically.

Here at Willsons we understand that preparing for your future can be quite daunting and no one likes to think that one day they will not be in a position to make good decisions. Whether you have an EPA or an LPA in place, we strongly advise that you have it reviewed by a legal professional in order to ensure all your needs and expectations are met. . Willsons can assist in any change in your circumstances and can talk you through all the options available to you and guarantee that your matter will be a quick and stress free process, with detailed advice explained to you every step of the way.

To find out more information on how to proceed with obtaining a Lasting Power of Attorney or to discuss your Enduring Power of Attorney call our Private Client department on 02476387821.