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Difference between an EPA and LPA?

Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) were superseded in 2007 by two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), one relating to property and financial affairs, and the other to health and welfare.

An old Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) appointed another to make primarily property and financial decisions on your behalf. An EPA provides no specific allowance for decisions relating to health and welfare.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) however, is more flexible and enables you to choose to make two separate LPAs, one for property and finance and another for health and welfare.

Here are some aspects to consider when deciding to update to an LPA;

Jointly and Severally, and replacement attorneys

The old EPA is not as flexible as an LPA because in cases where you had appointed several people who are required to act together, this means that for a decision to be made on your behalf, all those named have to agree. Whereas, the LPA enables you to appoint more than one person (called an attorney) who, with permission, can act alone on your behalf. An LPA also allows you to appoint replacement attorneys.

Representative no longer the correct person

If it is some years since you appointed your EPA representative to manage your affairs should you lose capacity, it may be that the person is no longer the correct or capable person to represent you. Replacing your EPA with an LPA enables you to review who you would like to act on your behalf should you lose the ability to make decisions through illness or injury. You may wish to appoint different representatives for your property and financial affairs to those making decisions on your health and welfare.

Specific conditions

It may be that when creating your EPA you established specific conditions which activate the EPA, such as a loss of mental capacity. It may be that there are other circumstances which prevent you from managing your affairs such as physical injury or illness which would not be covered by your existing EPA. So, under these circumstances it could not be used. An LPA is much more flexible because you are able to use it for either mental or physical incapacity or both.

Next steps

We advise you to review your Enduring Power of Attorney to consider if it would be advantageous to update to Lasting Powers of Attorney.

These are the main points of difference between an EPA and an LPA, however what is best for you depends on your individual circumstances and wishes. If you would like someone to discuss it more fully, please contact us. Where applicable, we will offer to come out and visit you for a full review. Our advice costs you nothing, we request a fee only when we prepare your legal documents.