Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney from 1 October 2007. The main changes are:
- an LPA cannot be used until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian;
- the LPA documents are much longer and more complex than Enduring Powers of Attorney;
- the documents require a much more detailed consideration of your finances and personal situation.
The initial cost of LPAs will therefore be much higher and may discourage people from making what is generally very useful provision in case of illness and infirmity.
The new provisions allow you to appoint someone to make not only financial decisions for you, but decisions over your care and welfare, including medical treatment.
Enduring Powers of Attorney which were completed before 1 October 2007 continue to be effective. They only need to be registered with the Court of Protection if the giver of the power is losing capacity.
You can still give a simple power of attorney to allow someone to manage your finances, which may be a more attractive option than an LPA. However, the disadvantage is that if you lose mental capacity a simple power of attorney is no longer effective. Unless an EPA was signed before 1 October 2007, only an LPA can provide for such circumstances.