Do you know about the changes affecting enduring powers of attorney?

Trusts and Estates

From 16 March 2017 all new enduring powers of attorney (EPAs) must be on a new prescribed form. The intention of the new form is to make EPAs easier to make and understand.

The main changes are as follows:

  1. Less restrictive witnessing provisions: Previously, if two people appointed each other as attorney, two different solicitors or legal executives needed to witness their signatures.  Now, if the risk of conflict of interest is only negligible, the same solicitor or legal executive can witness both enduring powers of attorney;
  2. Standard explanations: A standard explanation will be provided in the new forms which we can use to advise you on the documents;
  3. Duty of attorneys to consult: The new documents will require your attorney to consult with any other attorney you appoint; and
  4. Revocation of EPAs: You will be able to revoke your previous enduring power of attorney in the new EPA.  Previously you had to sign a separate notice of revocation.  You will also be able to revoke the appointment of one of your attorneys and the EPA will still be valid if you have a successor attorney or the attorney acts severally with someone else.

The new forms will be in plain English, with a glossary and will be in a tick box format.  We will be able to sit with you to complete the forms in our office and the forms can be signed at the same time.

All EPAs being signed after 16 March 2017 must be in the new format.  Any EPAs signed after 16 March 2017 on the old forms will be invalid.

All EPAs that are already signed will not be affected by this change.

If you have outstanding draft EPAs please contact us quickly to finalise your documents, otherwise we will need to start again. If you have any questions relating to these changes please get in touch with one of our experts today.

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