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Lasting vs Enduring Power of Attorney: Which one is best for you?

Amy Peters
01 February 2022 15 min read

EPA’s were replaced by Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPA’s) from 1st October 2007 so it’s not been possible to create EPA’s since then. If you have an EPA in place, should you replace it with an LPA? 

If the EPA was drafted and signed correctly and your wishes remain the same, there may not be a need to replace the existing EPA. However, that’s not to say there aren’t good reasons for considering an LPA.

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EPA’s only cover financial affairs

An EPA only deals with finances and allows attorneys to make decisions about selling the donors home, making gifts and managing bank accounts and bills. At the time the EPA was made, it wasn’t possible to appoint attorneys to make decisions about personal welfare.

To give someone legal authority to make decisions about health, care and life sustaining treatment a Health and Welfare LPA needs to be in place.

Creation of LPA’s is more secure

It’s considered that that the process of making an LPA is more secure as there are more safeguards integrated within the process. For an LPA to be valid, it must be signed by a Certificate Provider who can confirm the donor has mental capacity and is not under any undue coercion.

This is important as it provides more protection if the LPA is challenged later and an attempt is made to set aside the LPA on the grounds of lack of capacity when the LPA was made.

LPA’s allow replacement attorneys to be appointed

Under an EPA it wasn’t possible to name replacement attorneys so if the original attorneys were unable or unwilling to act the EPA would cease. Remember, it’s not possible to amend an existing EPA or create a new EPA.

If no attorney is able to act and no one is in place to make decisions, an application would need to be made to the Court of Protection for deputyship which may not be given to the person you would have preferred.

More flexibility

LPA’s allow for a wider range of options for wishes to be known to attorneys. Under an EPA, restrictions were available on how attorneys could make decisions which is now known as “instructions” within an LPA.

However, in addition, an LPA allows you to state “preferences” which are not binding on the attorneys but provide greater guidance when other people are making decisions.


Stronger supervision

Unless there was a restriction included in the EPA, it only needed to be registered once the donor was starting to lose or had lost capacity. This unfortunately left the EPA open to abuse by unscrupulous attorneys and was part of the reason why LPA’s were created.

An LPA for financial affairs can be used either whilst the donor still has capacity or after capacity has been lost (the donor can state which) but it must be registered with the Office of Public Guardian before the Attorney can use it.

What's the next step?

If you or a loved one have an Enduring Power of Attorney and you’re not sure it’s still right for the present circumstances, feel free to call for an informal chat on 01522 500823 or email hello@beneficialfamilywills.co.uk and we can talk everything through with you.

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