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With Halloween fast approaching, it’s time to dig out your old legal documents and dust off the cobwebs.

It is important to check your Will and Powers of Attorney regularly to ensure that these continue to reflect your wishes. It may be the case that you haven’t reviewed these documents in some time and that you discover that you have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place.

On 1st October 2007, Lasting Power of Attorneys were launched meaning that from this date is was no longer possible to create a new Enduring Power of Attorney. Provided they have been executed correctly, Enduring Powers of Attorney remain valid and can still be used although there are fundamental differences between Enduring Powers and Lasting Powers and we would therefore recommend a review of your affairs to ensure the documents continue to meet your needs.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a single document that can only be used in respect of property and financial affairs. Once the document has been signed by the relevant parties and witnessed accordingly, it can be used whilst the Donor (the person giving the power) has mental capacity without the need for it to be registered at the court,however, if the Donor has lost or is losing mental capacity, then it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

Whilst an Enduring Power of Attorney is limited to financial affairs, it is possible to execute two types of Lasting Power of Attorney; one to deal with Property and Financial Affairs and one to cover Health and Welfare issues. They can be registered at any time and the property and financial affairs element can be used with immediate effect regardless of the Donor’s mental capacity, providing that they have given consent.

If you are named as an Attorney on an Enduring Power of Attorney and feel that the time has come to register the document, we can provide you with the assistance that you need to ensure that it is registered smoothly.

Alternatively, if you have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place but would like to speak to someone about appointing the people that you trust to look after your health and welfare, or perhaps update your Attorneys and convert to a Lasting Power of Attorney, then contact out experienced Private Client team today. Call us on 01484 821 500, text LAW to 67777 or email willsandprobate@ramsdens.co.uk.