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Lasting Powers of Attorney – news forms

Solicitors in London

News article published on: 24th June 2014

The Mental Capacity Act 2005, which came into force in October 2007, signalled the end of the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and introduced the new Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in its place.

One of the main differences between an LPA and an EPA relates to registration. An EPA need only be registered once the Donor (the person creating the LPA) is losing capacity, whereas an LPA must be registered immediately for it to be valid. Additionally, a second type of LPA was introduced to cover matters of Personal Welfare.

Anyone who has an EPA knows that it is only 3 or 4 pages long whereas the LPAs, when first introduced, were 25 pages long! The increase in pages was the result of an attempt to enforce stricter protection for the Donor and to introduce greater safeguards to ensure that people enter into LPAs of their own free will and without undue influence during the period the power of attorney is in force.

After much criticism was directed at the Court of Protection and the Office of the Public Guardian, 1st October 2009 saw the introduction of new, shorter LPAs, each consisting of 14 pages. So where have the extra 11 pages gone? The new form requires additional continuation pages in certain circumstances and a lot more information is now squeezed onto each page than was previously the case, sometimes making it more difficult to follow. Much of the press coverage surrounding the new forms suggests that they can now be completed easily without the help of solicitors. We still encourage people to seek legal assistance with their applications for LPAs as even a small mistake on the forms will result in their rejection by the Court of Protection and will necessitate the application for registration being re-submitted.

It is important to think about an LPA before it is too late to do so. Once the Donor has lost capacity to manage his or her own affairs, the only option available to relatives/friends to deal with that person’s affairs is to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed a Deputy. This is a lengthy and more costly exercise which includes an additional annual supervision fee charged by the Court.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005, which came into force in October 2007, signalled the end of the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and introduced the new Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in its place.

One of the main differences between an LPA and an EPA relates to registration. An EPA need only be registered once the Donor (the person creating the LPA) is losing capacity, whereas an LPA must be registered immediately for it to be valid. Additionally, a second type of LPA was introduced to cover matters of Personal Welfare.

Anyone who has an EPA knows that it is only 3 or 4 pages long whereas the LPAs, when first introduced, were 25 pages long! The increase in pages was the result of an attempt to enforce stricter protection for the Donor and to introduce greater safeguards to ensure that people enter into LPAs of their own free will and without undue influence during the period the power of attorney is in force.

After much criticism was directed at the Court of Protection and the Office of the Public Guardian, 1st October 2009 saw the introduction of new, shorter LPAs, each consisting of 14 pages. So where have the extra 11 pages gone? The new form requires additional continuation pages in certain circumstances and a lot more information is now squeezed onto each page than was previously the case, sometimes making it more difficult to follow. Much of the press coverage surrounding the new forms suggests that they can now be completed easily without the help of solicitors. We still encourage people to seek legal assistance with their applications for LPAs as even a small mistake on the forms will result in their rejection by the Court of Protection and will necessitate the application for registration being re-submitted.

It is important to think about an LPA before it is too late to do so. Once the Donor has lost capacity to manage his or her own affairs, the only option available to relatives/friends to deal with that person’s affairs is to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed a Deputy. This is a lengthy and more costly exercise which includes an additional annual supervision fee charged by the Court.

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