There are several key differences between activating an enduring power of attorney (EPA) and its replacement since 2007, the LPA.
For example, once the donor begins to lose mental capacity you would need to register your enduring power of attorney (EPA).
Follow these three steps to complete the EPA registration process:
- Tell the donor, members of their family, and any other attorneys that you intend to register the EPA.
- Apply to register the enduring power of attorney (EPA).
- Pay the EPA registration fee.
1. Telling People You Intend to Register the EPA
The first step is downloading the registration forms and guidance pack. Fill in Form EP1PG and send it to:
- The person who lacks mental capacity (the donor).
- At least three (3) of the donor’s family members who meet the requirements (i.e. at least 18 years old and have mental capacity).
- Any other attorneys appointed ‘jointly and severally‘ but are not applying to register the EPA.
You must tell the first three (3) eligible donor family members from the list. Move on to next person in the list if there is no family member in any particular category. It is important to tell the family members in this specific order:
- Donor’s spouse (husband, wife, or civil partner)
- Donor’s children (including any adopted children but not including any stepchildren)
- Donor’s parents
- Donor’s siblings (brothers and sisters including any half-brothers and any half-sisters)
- Widow or widower or a surviving civil partner of the donor’s child
- Donor’s grandchildren
- Donor’s nephews and nieces (children of their full brothers and full sisters)
- Donor’s nephews and nieces (children of the donor’s half-brothers and half-sisters)
- Donor’s aunts and uncles (full brothers or sisters of a parent of the donor)
- Donor’s first cousins (children of the donor’s aunts and uncles who are full brothers and sisters of a parent of the donor)
After telling one person in a category, you must then tell all the people in the same category. So, suppose you are telling a grandchild as one of the three relatives. If the donor has nine other grandchildren, you must tell all ten of them.
It is possible to be a family member as well as one of the attorneys. In this case, you should count the attorney as one of the people who need telling – and then tell any other people in your category.
Anyone that you tell can object to the registration of a power of attorney. They would have 35 days to make their objection from when they receive the form.
Note: You must do whatever you can to locate and tell the people who need telling. But, you may not know their address or there may not be three relatives alive. In this case, you should notify the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) when you apply to register an EPA.
2. Apply to Register the EPA
The next step is to download the application form EP2PG from the registration forms and guidance pack. After you have ‘officially’ told all the people that you intend to register, you should send the application form to the OPG.
Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 16185
There is a different mailing address for the OPG for any members of the DX Exchange courier service.
Office of the Public Guardian
Send the original EPA form at the same time or use a certified copy if you do not have the original version. There is a fee to pay for registering an enduring power of attorney in England.
3. Paying the Registration Fees
The cost to register an enduring power of attorney (EPA) is £82 (£41 to make a repeat application). Use form LPA120 if you qualify for any help with power of attorney fees. Make the cheque payable to ‘Office of the Public Guardian’ and write the full name of the donor on the reverse side.
Important: The ‘50% remission’ rule means you would only pay half if the donor’s income is less than £12,000 (before tax).
How Long it takes to Register an EPA
As a rule, registering an EPA will take between two and three months after sending the application form. It may take longer if any of the family members raise an objection to the registration.
How to Check an Enduring Power is Legal
You can only use an enduring power of attorney (EPA) if it was made using the correct process. You would need to check that the EPA form was:
- Created when the donor was 18 or older and they had the mental ability to make their own decisions.
- Signed by the donor and a witness who was not one of the attorneys for the EPA.
- Signed by all other attorneys (if there was more than one).
At the time the enduring power of attorney (EPA) was created, you and any of the other attorneys must have been:
- At least 18 years old.
- Not bankrupt (and have not been bankrupt since).
Note: Attorneys can only use EPAs made and signed before the 1st of October 2007. Since then, donors have had to make a lasting power of attorney (LPA) instead.