Coronavirus change to EPA registration
The Office of the Public Guardian (the OPG) have updated the process in which an Enduring Power Of Attorney (EPA) can be registered to assist those registering these legal documents.
This guidance was published following the introduction of national lockdown rules on the 5th January 2020.
Prior to the Lasting Power of Attorney process (which came into force on the 1st October 2007), those wishing to appoint someone to assist with their financial affairs would need to create an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). These EPAs can no longer be created, but existing ones are still valid and can still be registered when appropriate.
Enduring Powers of Attorney need to be registered when the EPA creator starts to lose capacity. However, existing Enduring Powers of Attorney can still be used (with permission of the creator) provided the creator still has capacity.
The OPG have eased the process by allowing the notice of registration that needs to be served to the family members of the EPA creator or other attorneys to be served electronically via e-mail. Notice must still be ‘given by post if possible’ however if not, the notifying family members and attorneys can ‘give permission to accept the notice by email.’ Once the notice has been sent electronically, those in receipt must reply to the email to confirm they have received the notice.
When the attorneys under the EPA need to notify the creator of the EPA, the OPG have advised that it could be appropriate for someone else to give the notice to the EPA creator on the attorney’s behalf, for example it can be posted to the care home staff to give to the EPA creator.
However, there can still be frustration in these difficult times, particularly in circumstances where the EPA creator had placed a restriction on the Enduring Power of Attorney requiring medical evidence of lost capacity such as a letter from the EPA’ creator’s G.P. or a privately paid consultant before the Enduring Power of Attorney. could be registered.
If you have a concern over the EPA registration process, please do not hesitate to contact Garden House Solicitors on 01992 422128 and we would be happy to advise.