What is an EPA?
It is the permission you give that allows someone you trust to help manage your property, money and financial affairs. Using the EPA, your attorney will be able to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf. The attorney can act for you if an accident occurs or you become physically ill and cannot act for yourself. Your attorney can use the EPA while you retain your ‘mental capacity’. When you no longer have the mental capability to act and make decisions for yourself the EPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) . Once the OPG has registered the EPA, the attorney can continue to use it and act for you.
Property and Financial affairs LPA’s replaced EPA’s on 1st October 2007. EPA’s created prior to this date remain valid.
When can an EPA be used and how?
This power comes into effect immediately, and has the same status as an Ordinary Power of Attorney (OPA). This means that your attorneys can manage part or all of your financial affairs for you, or you can continue to manage them yourself while you are able to and hand over responsibility later. You or your attorney will need to show signed copies of your EPA to banks and financial providers so your that attorney can manage your accounts.
Is an OPA different to an EPA?
Yes. The OPA becomes invalid if you, the donor, becomes mentally incapable. Your attorney can continue to use the EPA once it has been registered with the OPG.
Using a registered EPA
If you lose mental capacity, your EPA will need to be registered with the OPG. Once the EPA is registered your attorney has certain duties to fulfil. The attorneys must involve you in making decisions wherever possible. They can only make decisions you cannot make yourself and must follow any instructions that you have given in the EPA. Anything the attorneys do must always be in your best interests.
Registering an EPA
If your attorney has reason to believe that you lack mental capacity, they must apply to the OPG to register your EPA. This will mean filling in various forms and perhaps obtaining a doctor’s assessment of your mental capability. When your attorney is seeking to register the EPA, certain people have to be informed of this. Any of them could lodge an objection. All in all it can be quite a complex and lengthy process.
I can assist you with this process, get in touch with me using the Contact Gerry option to find out how I can help.