You can help make or make decisions about someone’s property and money if they appointed you using an enduring power of attorney (EPA).
The person who appointed you is called the ‘donor’ – you are their ‘attorney’.
Any decision you make on the donor’s behalf must be in their best interests.
You’ll need to check if the donor’s given you specific instructions or guidance in the EPA document that will affect your responsibilities.
Only EPAs made and signed before October 1, 2007 can still be used. After that date donors had to make a lasting power of attorney (LPA) instead.
Using the enduring power of attorney
You can start using an EPA at any time if the EPA is legal and the donor gives you permission.
You’ll be responsible for helping the donor make decisions about their finances. Depending on their instructions you’ll help manage things like their:
- money and bills
- bank and building society accounts
- property and investments
- pensions and benefits
There may be other attorneys – if there are, check how the donor wants you to make decisions.
You must register the EPA when the donor starts to lose or has lost their mental capacity. This means they can’t make a decision at the time it needs to be made because of a mental impairment.
You must still involve the person in making decisions whenever possible and only make decisions on their behalf which are in their best interests.
Stop being an attorney
The EPA will end if the donor cancels it or they die.
You can stop being an attorney by choice.
You may be investigated if there’s a complaint against you. The Office of the Public Guardian can apply to the Court of Protection to have you removed.