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Are EPAs still valid?

Q. I have an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is it still valid or do I need to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

A. If you made your EPA before the 1 of October 2007 and it was correctly executed it is still valid even though you can’t make them anymore. The EPA allows your attorneys to deal with your financial affairs on your behalf both when you have the capacity to manage for yourself and if a situation arose where you could not manage for yourself due to an illness such as dementia.

A major difference between an LPA and an EPA is that you can make a LPA to also cover Health and Welfare matters, including life sustaining treatment. In law if someone cannot make a welfare decision the Local Authority makes it on their behalf unless there is a Health and Welfare LPA in place. The Local Authority, whether that is Social Services or the NHS will consult with some members of the family. If, however, there is a conflict between family and Social Services it will need to be resolved via the Court of Protection which is a special court that hears matters on behalf of people who cannot make decisions for themselves.

I always advise that as a belt and braces approach you should have powers of attorney that cover both your finances and your health and welfare. We do not have a crystal ball to know for sure what support we may need in the future but we can ensure that our chosen helpers, usually our family, are equipped to deal with whatever our needs require.

If you have any questions about a Health and Welfare LPA, please feel free to have a no obligation chat with me, I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

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