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Enduring Powers of Attorney

[NB Enduring Powers of Attorney have been replaced by Lasting Powers. Many Enduring Powers cotinue in effect, but no new ones can be created] A power of attorney gives to somebody else the power to sign your name for you. It is a simple idea, but has important and complicated issues. We try to keep this law-byte short and understandable, but it is a difficult topic. If you have questions, please do ask us.

Powers of attorney become more useful as we grow older. We may lose some mobility, but we may [any of us] also lose the ability to direct our affairs properly from day to day. Bluntly, we may become incapable of managing our affairs. It is ideal in these situations to appoint somebody you trust, who knows you, and what you want, to sign for you.

Sadly, and just at the time when a power of attorney becomes needed, when a person becomes incapable of managing his own affairs, an ordinary power of attorney becomes ineffective. There is now, a special kind of power called an "Enduring Power of Attorney", which remains valid when the person who made it, would be unable through mental incapacity, to act himself.

Enduring Powers of Attorney must be signed before the problem arises. It can be difficult, to face the possibility of becoming mentally incapable, but it makes sense to do so. If a person becomes mentally incapable, and no enduring power exists, then someone, often a relative or someone from Social Services, must apply to court to be appointed by the Court of Protection. An application to appoint a receiver is more complicated and expensive, than signing a power and registering it at court.

However useful a power may be, it is important that the person who is giving the power should feel under no pressure. It places tremendous faith in somebody else. It must only be done quite freely, and with a full understanding of the implications. We will always check that this is what you want.

Again, this is a very complicated area, and we cannot do justice to it in one page. We are happy to talk to you about it. You need only ring us, or make an appointment.

Important: Please note that our law-bytes are retained for archival purposes only. The law changes, and these notes are often, now, out of date. You must take direct advice on your own personal situation and the law as it currently stands.
All information on this site is in general and summary form only. The content of any page on this site may be out of date and or incomplete, and you should not not rely directly upon it. Take direct professional legal advice which reflects your own particular situation.
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Copyright and Database Rights: David Swarbrick 2012
18 October 2013 http://www.swarb.co.uk/lawb/truEPA.shtml 346 18 October 2013