What exactly is an EPA? In simplified legal jargon, the enduring power of attorney is a document.
It appoints someone (called an attorney) to help manage money and property of the person who made the EPA.
The EPA document gives instructions to the attorney and grants them specific responsibilities.
So, appointed attorneys would be able to help a donor make decisions (or make them on their behalf).
If this happened, you could lose mental capacity and be unable to make major decisions. So, the attorney could make, or help to make, important decisions at the time that they need making.
Note: The property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney (LPA) replaced the EPA in October 2007. Since this date, you would need to set up a lasting power of attorney instead.
Even so, you can continue using an enduring power of attorney (EPA) if signed and witnessed before the 1st of October 2007. You can also choose to cancel the document and create one of the two different lasting power of attorneys.
Allowing an Attorney to Use an EPA
The donor must have mental capacity when using an enduring power of attorney. If not, the attorney would not get permission to help manage property and finances.
Either the donor or attorney would need to show signed copies of the EPA to certain organisations. For example, banks and financial providers will want to see documented proof before an attorney can manage an account.
It is not possible to change the instructions in an existing enduring power of attorney (EPA). So, you would need to cancel the EPA and set up a new lasting power of attorney (LPA) instead.
When You Must Register an EPA
If the donor loses mental capacity, the attorney must register the EPA to start (or to continue) using it. There is a set procedure to register an enduring power of attorney (EPA). Following that, the attorney must then:
- Involve the donor in the decision making as much as possible.
- Only make decisions that the donor is unable to make by themselves.
- Follow any instructions that the donor created when they set up the enduring power of attorney (EPA).
Note: Any notified parties will be able to object to the registration of a power of attorney (including an EPA). You can still make an objection even if you did not receive an official letter.
How to Cancel an Unregistered EPA
You can cancel an unregistered EPA while you still have mental capacity. You need to make a ‘deed of revocation’ to state you are cancelling the enduring power of attorney. Keep the statement with the EPA form after you and a witness have both signed the deed of revocation.
All the attorneys, along with any relevant banks and financial providers, need to know that you are cancelling the EPA. You will need to inform them of the change to the previous situation.
Note: It is important not to send an unregistered EPA or a deed of revocation to the Office of the Public Guardian. You must keep the two documents together and in your possession.
Using a Deed of Revocation
You can use the wording below as a deed of revocation template. But, you must replace the words written in the square brackets with the relevant details.
1: I granted an enduring power of attorney on [date you signed the enduring power of attorney] appointing [name of first attorney] of [address of first attorney] and [name of second attorney] of [address of second attorney] to act as my attorney(s).
2: I revoke the enduring power of attorney and the authority granted by it
Signed and delivered as a deed [your signature]
Date signed [date]
Witnessed by [signature of witness]
Full name of witness [name of witness]
Address of witness [address of witness]”
How to Cancel a Registered EPA
You must apply to the Court of Protection to cancel a registered enduring power of attorney (EPA). The process will mean filling in and sending two separate documents:
- Form COP1: Apply to make decisions on someone’s behalf.
- Form COP24: Give a witness statement about a person who lacks capacity.
The cost to apply to revoke an enduring power of attorney is £371. Send a cheque at the same time as sending the application forms to the Court of Protection. Make the cheque payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’.
Court of Protection
PO Box 70185
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
Note: EPAs end when the donor dies and people stop acting as an attorney at the same time. But, after a death, the responsibility for informing the Office of the Public Guardian rests with the attorney.
Getting a Fee Reduction or Remission
After Applying to Cancel an EPA
In some cases, you may need to provide some evidence to the court. They may need to see that you still have mental capacity after cancelling the EPA. As a rule, the court will send you a decision within four (4) months.
Note: You will be able to make and register a lasting power of attorney (LPA) for property and financial affairs after you cancel your EPA.