Enduring Powers of Attorney
Who will look after your financial affairs?
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document that is drawn up whilst you are mentally capable which makes provisions for your health and your affairs in case you become unable to do so through illness, accident or old age.
It allows you to appoint a person(s) of your choosing to deal with your financial affairs on your behalf. This is clearly beneficial for single people, but it is also useful for couples where most of the assets are in one name.
An EPA can take effect immediately but often is restricted to come into force only if you become mentally incapable. When your attorney(s) consider that you are no longer able to look after your own affairs, they will then register the EPA with the Public Guardianship Office.
Where to Start?
You need consider who you would like to appoint as the attorney (or the attorneys) of your EPA, the appointed attorney is authorised to access your assets and keep your financial affairs going. You can also limit the attorney's authority so that they act only in relation to some of your assets.
Clients will often appoint spouses, family members or trusted friends as their attorney.
Without an attorney, when someone becomes incapable, the Court of Protection will appoint a Receiver for them. This process is timely during which important matters cannot be settled and can involve large legal fees.
All of this can be avoided easily, at little cost, through this legal document.