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Tight, but fluid

The rules, limits and guidelines surrounding powers of attorney have changed markedly. Are you up to date?

29 February 2016

It is safe to say that the introduction of lasting powers of attorney (LPA) to replace enduring powers of attorney (EPA) represented, in part, the recognition of flaws in EPAs as a document to assist clients at the onset of incapacity, and beyond.

It is the duty of attorneys to register existing EPAs with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) when, and only when they have reason to believe that the donor has become, or is becoming mentally incapable of managing his/her affairs. An LPA on the other hand must be registered in order to be relied upon in situations where mental capacity is in question as determined initially by the type (health and care LPAs can only be used upon loss of mental capacity) and second, by the provisions within the LPA itself.

While the obligations relating to EPAs imply that a person either has mental capacity (according to the statutory definition) o...

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