If you have been appointed as someone’s attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney, then you will be obliged to register it for use in the event that they become unable to manage their own affairs. We take a look at what needs to be done and how the power can be used.
Registering An Enduring Power of Attorney
If you believe that someone who made an Enduring Power of Attorney appointing you to act on their behalf no longer has mental capacity, you need to apply to the Court Office to register the document. You will need to send the following items:
- Original Enduring Power of Attorney
- Notice of intention to apply for registration, which will need to be served on the donor, ie. the person who executed the Enduring Power of Attorney, as well as those listed on the document as entitled to be notified and any co-attorneys
- The application for registration form
- A doctor’s letter confirming that the donor is becoming incapable
- The court fee, currently £30, together with a £5 fee for a search of the register
Notice should be given to those entitled to receive it no more than three days before the application is made. The court will then wait five weeks to give those who have been notified a chance to object to registration. If no objections are received, the power will be registered.
The court will then send the original Enduring Power of Attorney back to you, signed by the Chief Registrar and stamped by the court along with certified copies.
Using The Registered Enduring Power of Attorney
The way in which the Enduring Power of Attorney can be used will depend on whether it contains any restrictions and whether there are any co-attorneys.
The donor may have stated that the attorney cannot carry out certain actions, such as selling their home. Otherwise, a copy of the Enduring Power of Attorney can be supplied to the donor’s financial institutions to give the attorney the authority to deal with all of their financial affairs.
Where there is more than one attorney, the power will state whether you can act separately or whether you must all agree on decisions together. The latter can make it fairly difficult to act, with attorneys always needing to seek the approval of the others before any single action can be taken.
It may be better when making an Enduring Power of Attorney to appoint replacement attorneys who can step in, should the original choice be unable or unwilling to act when the time comes.
Using An Unregistered Enduring Power of Attorney
If the donor needs help with their financial affairs while they still have the capacity to act, the Enduring Power of Attorney can be used to allow the attorney to deal with their affairs for them, unless it states that it is not to be used unless capacity has been lost.
The only difference between a registered and unregistered power is that the donor can discuss their wishes with the attorney and can also take a part in dealing with matters while they still have the ability to do so.
If the donor loses mental capacity, then the attorney should not use the power until such time as it has been registered.
Contact Our Enduring Power Of Attorney Advocates
Making an Enduring Power of Attorney can be very helpful for a family, who would otherwise find it difficult to step in and help a relative who could no longer manage. At Quinn Legal, we can explain the process of making an Enduring Power of Attorney to you and answer any questions you may have.
For more information, see Powers of Attorney.
Alternatively, you can fill out our online enquiry and we will contact you.