I recall the frantic phonecalls prior to 1 October 2007 from clients and enquiring members of the public regarding Enduring Powers of Attorney. Many had read in the press or just heard from others that “..they would not now be able to enter into such a document”; “…the new forms were so much longer and the procedure would be too complicated/expensive”; or even “is it true that my old form of EPA could no longer be used?”

The truth is that the “old style” Enduring Power of Attorney, provided entered into before 1 October 2007 remains valid, even if this has not yet been used or registered with the Court of Protection. There remains no need to register until such time as the Donor (the person who made the EPA) lacks capacity.

The new system introduced Lasting Powers of Attorney, which enables any person, 18 years and over, with capacity, to appoint a third party (up to 5 in number) to manage his or her affairs.

There are two types, the Property and Affairs LPA, which has a similar function to the old form Enduring Power of Attorney and which allows the Attorney to deal with the Donor’s finances and property and the Personal Welfare LPA. This latter document is newly introduced and has the potential to be very wide ranging. This document would enable the Attorney to decide on the Donor’s living arrangements, healthcare, who the Donor may have contact with, the Donor’s personal correspondence and arrangements for the Donor’s medical, dental or optical treatment. It can also be extended to allow the Attorney(s) to make decisions on whether to consent or refuse life sustaining treatment for the Donor. Obviously, this is a matter for the Donor to consider and discuss with both the Attorney(s) and their medical practitioner before inclusion.