Although “Lasting Powers of Attorneys” have been around for 12 years now, there are still lots of people with the older “Enduring Powers of Attorneys”. Questions can arise about these, and the differences between the two documents.

The Enduring Power of Attorney is a fairly simple document, which enables you to appoint your Attorneys, in case you lose mental capacity. It only relates to finance and property. The
documents are only registered when the need arises. So if the donor, (the person who made the document) starts to lose mental capacity, the document should be registered with the Office of Public Guardian.

There are some potential problems with these documents. Firstly, who decides when the donor has lost capacity? The Donor may say they are fine! It really needs a professional medical opinion.

This may be time consuming to obtain and even then, the donor may not be happy. They may fear losing control of their affairs.

A second problem can arise if the document has any mistakes in it. These will only come to light when it is sent for registration, and it may be rejected. The question then is, “Can the donor set up a new document if they have lost mental capacity”, and the answer is likely to be no.

The newer Lasting Powers of Attorneys come in two types. “Finance and Property” and “Health and Welfare”.

The Finance and Property document replaced the old Enduring Power of Attorney. The main difference is that they are registered straight after signing. They can also be used straight away if the donor wishes, and they can be used before the donor loses mental capacity. For example, if the donor is in hospital for a long time. If the donor is concerned, they can choose to have the document only used, when they have actually lost mental capacity.

The other document, the Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is about your treatment in hospital, and allows your attorneys to advise how you wish to be looked after. This is also very important, if you are unable to give instructions yourself, for example if you have suffered a stroke and find difficulty in speaking.

So in conclusion, if you have an Enduring Power of Attorney that is positive. However, there are further advantages with the newer documents.