Enduring Powers of Attorney: Should I get a Lasting Power of Attorney instead?

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Powers of Attorney are an important legal document where you, as the donor, can authorise another, known as the attorney, to make decisions on your. Bethany Fielding, a solicitor in WSP Solicitors’ Private Client Department, sheds light on the difference between a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA).

What is an Enduring Powers of Attorney

Enduring Powers of Attorney were introduced so that a donor could appoint an attorney to make decisions regarding their property and financial affairs. This could include assisting with paying the bills, liaising with third parties such as banks and the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions), and even selling a property. Whilst a donor has capacity, these decisions can only be made with the consent of the donor. If the donor loses capacity, the Enduring Power of Attorney must be registered before it can be used.

In October 2007, Enduring Powers of Attorney were brought to an end and instead, the LPA was introduced. All Enduring Powers of Attorney signed and executed correctly before October 2007 are still valid today and can be used by correctly appointed attorneys.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney

When Lasting Powers of Attorney were introduced, they came in two different forms: one for property and financial affairs and one for health and welfare. You can choose to have one or both types of the Lasting Power of Attorney, and they are both separate documents. In comparison with the Enduring Power of Attorney, all LPA must be registered before they can be used.

In order to make a Lasting Power of Attorney, you must have sufficient mental capacity to understand the significance of the document you would be signing. An individual, known as a certificate provider, will need to sign to certify this and to confirm that there is no reason for concern. A solicitor can act as a certificate provider.

What is the difference between Enduring Powers of Attorney v Lasting Powers of Attorney?

Although an Enduring Power of Attorney essentially has the same role as a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs, it crucially does not allow your attorneys to make any decisions on your behalf about your health and welfare.

You may continue to have an Enduring Power of Attorney to manage your property and financial affairs, but it is worth considering having a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare to operate alongside it.

Why get a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare?

A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney will allow your attorneys to make decisions which could include where you live, medical care, and assistance with your daily routine such as washing, dressing and eating.

You can also give your attorneys the authority to make decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment for you. This would include decisions regarding care, surgery and medicine that’s needed to keep you alive. You are not required to give your attorneys authority to make these decisions, although it can give some flexibility.

To cover these decisions, it is best to consider whether you would like a Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare drawn up. A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used when you have lost mental capacity, and you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

You can pick as many attorneys as you like to make decisions, but it is important to choose people that you trust. An attorney must be over 18 years old. When attorneys are making decisions on your behalf, they are required to act in accordance with your best interests.

You can include preferences and instructions in your Lasting Powers of Attorney if you would like to provide some guidance to your attorneys as to how you wish for them to use it.

By making a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare, you will cover decisions that an Enduring Power of Attorney will not. To learn more about LPA’s


If you currently have an EPA in place and would like to discuss your options for creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, please contact your local WSP branch in Gloucester or Stroud today. Alternatively, you can call us on 01453 847200.











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