Do you need to make an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in the remaining few weeks that they are available?
EPAs have their weaknesses and the initiative to reform this area of the law was in principle welcome. However, although some of the changes that will shortly come into force will benefit clients, others, relating to the new financial arrangements, have met with much criticism. For EPAs have three significant merits: they are relatively simple, they are relatively inexpensive, and they provide for a clear division of responsibility between the person who gave the power on the one hand, and the attorney on the other. The new financial Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), to be introduced from 1 October, have none of these merits. We have been making many EPAs for clients over recent months, and we expect a crescendo in the last couple of months for which they are available, until 30 September this year.
An EPA enables a trusted friend, relative or professional to manage your financial affairs if you were to become unable to do so because of mental incapacity, perhaps caused by a stroke, an accident, or dementia. An EPA made before October will continue to operate under pretty much the old rules, even if mental capacity is not lost for years or even decades. This is why it can be worthwhile for even quite young people to make EPAs now. If you have still not made an EPA and would like to know more, then please ask the person with whom you usually deal at Bircham Dyson Bell LLP, or Judith Morris, for a copy of our Briefing Note on EPAs.