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Are you protected? Changes to Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) go live on 16 March 2017

By Hess Chung - 13 Mar 2017

Significant changes coming into force on 16 March affecting new Enduring Powers of Attorney

What is an EPA?

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document that gives someone the ability to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to. This person is called the Attorney.

There are two types of EPAs:

Personal care and welfare EPA which gives the attorney the right to make legal decisions about your personal care and welfare in the event that you are mentally incapacitated.

Property affairs EPA which gives the attorney the right to manage your financial matters and deal with property in your personal name.

Overview of the main changes to PPPRA

Amendments to the Protection of Personal Property Rights Act 1988 (PPPRA) are intended to make it easier for people to appoint or change their Attorney. They include:

  1. Simpler forms: The new forms have a tick-box format, are written in plain English and include information panels to explain each section clearly.

  2. Duty of Attorneys to consult: Attorneys will now be required to consult each other and other people.  This change is intended to make the handling of your affairs more transparent.
  3. Revocation of appointment option: The new EPA forms allow you to revoke any previous versions of your EPA (as you would when updating your Will). Previously you had to give notice of your revocation to the prior attorney on a separate form.
  4. Less restrictive requirements for mutual appointments: If two people appoint each other as attorney (e.g. husband and wife), the new forms can be witnessed by the same solicitor or legal executive, so long as there is no conflict of interest. Previously two different solicitors or legal executives were required to witness the two people's signatures.

The new forms come into effect on 16 March 2017. Any EPAs signed after this date on the old forms will be invalid.

Does this affect my EPA?

If you currently have an EPA and you are happy with it, there is no need to do anything.

However, with any significant amendment such as this, it's a good time to review your current legal position and consider any changes in your life that may have affected your choices under the EPA.

If you have a current draft EPA, please get in touch with us to ensure it is completed before the 16 March deadline. Otherwise please contact us for assistance in completing the new forms.


Hess Chung


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