ENDURING POWERS OF ATTORNEY
The Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 and its associated regulations enables you to appoint a person or persons you trust to manage your financial and personal care under Enduring Powers of Attorney (“EPAs”). The forms used have changed significantly over the last 10 years with the latest change coming into effect in March 2017 introducing a standardised form and explanation notes.
This was the result of a review of the Act by parliament that found further changes were needed to achieve the right balance between protecting people and making EPAs accessible to everyone. There was a hope that by providing detailed explanations both the person appointing an attorney and the attorney would understand better the powers that are delegated and duties that are required of an attorney.
The explanation notes set out the implications of the EPA and the power that it gives your attorney over the matters stated in the document, subject only to the conditions and restrictions you have set, along with the requirements to consult. You may revoke the attorney’s appointment at any time, however you must have mental capacity to give notice of a revocation. That is why you must have complete confidence in the person or persons you choose as your attorney to act in your best interests.
The explanation notes are also to assist the attorney, who in many cases is not aware of their role and responsibilities. Their role is not to take over the full management of your affairs but to work with you if you lose mental capacity and allow you to have as much involvement as possible in managing your affairs. Your attorney must act in your best interests and is not allowed to act in their own interests. The attorney for your property affairs is now obliged to consult with any other attorney you have appointed for your property affairs and also the attorney for your care and welfare.
So while the documents are now longer and require more input to complete, this is beneficial to you and your attorney in providing clarity and direction in the event that you are unable to manage your affairs yourself.
If you are considering setting up Enduring Powers of Attorney for your Care and Welfare and your Property it is important that you seek legal advice from a team who understand how your decisions may impact on you in later years. At Harmans we have experience dealing with the arrangement of your affairs. Please call Phillipa Shaw on 03 352 2293 to arrange an appointment to discuss your situation.