Types of Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document created by an individual (Donor) which grants authority to another person (An Attorney) to take care of some or all aspects of their financial affairs and other matters.
There are various types of Powers of Attorney, the purpose of this article is to explain the different types of Power of Attorney in more detail.
Ordinary Power of Attorney
An Ordinary Power of Attorney (General PoA in Scotland) is used where someone wants to appoint another person to handle their affairs, even though they remain capable of doing so themselves.
An Ordinary Power of Attorney is often used to appoint someone to take care of specific types of transaction, for example, the sale of a property while the donor is overseas. An Ordinary Power of Attorney usually has a specific time limit.
Should a donor of an Ordinary Power of Attorney lose mental capacity and become unable to handle their own affairs the Ordinary Power of Attorney ceases to have any effect and is no longer valid.
Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)
* With effect from October 2007, it is no longer possible for new EPAs to be created.
Enduring Power of Attorney’s completed before October 2007, whether or not registered remain valid and can be registered with the office of the public guardian.
Enduring Power of Attorney allows a donor to appoint an attorney or attorneys with the explicit intention that they will continue to be able to act even when a donor has lost mental capacity.
If a donor has lost or is losing mental capacity then the EPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Until registered, it is effectively just an ordinary power of attorney and so loses its effect when the donor loses mental capacity.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
New types of Powers of Attorney, called a Lasting Power of Attorney came into force in October 2007 under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and replace the Enduring Power of Attorney mentioned above.
There are two new types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
1) Property and Financial Affairs, which relates to decisions about a donor’s personal finances, for example, the sale of a donors property, or managing their investments.
2) Personal Welfare, which relates to decisions about the health and personal welfare of the donor, for example, type of medical treatment and matters relating to the long-term care of a donor.
A Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.
A donor can register a Lasting Power of Attorney while they still have the mental capacity or an attorney can apply to register the LPA at any time.
For further information on registering a Power of Attorney go to The Office of the Public Guardian Website which contains detailed information on all aspects of powers of attorney.
Office of the Public Guardian address: PO Box 16185, Birmingham, B2 2WH.
Telephone: 0300 456 0300 Fax:0870 739 5780