Enduring powers of attorney (EPA) have now been replaced by lasting powers of attorney (LPA). However, if you have validly completed an EPA before 1 October 2007, it remains valid.

The key difference between an EPA and an LPA is that is open to you to give authority to your attorney to make decisions on your behalf before the EPA is registered, provided you are still able to make your own decision (ie you have “mental capacity”).If you have lost mental capacity, your attorney will need to arrange for the EPA to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can take any further action on your behalf. It is also only possible for an EPA to cover decisions about your property and financial affairs. It is not possible to have a health and welfare EPA.

In contrast, an LPA must be registered with the office of the Public Guardian before your attorney can make any decisions on your behalf. This is the case even if you are still able to make decisions yourself. It is also possible to have an LPA covering property and finances, and a separate one covering health and welfare.

If you have an existing EPA dealing with property and finances, it is open to you to have a separate LPA dealing with personal welfare decisions.