How long does Power of Attorney last in England?
How long a Power of Attorney lasts in England depends on which type of Power of Attorney is in place. Whether it is a Lasting Power of Attorney, an Enduring Power of Attorney, or a General Power of Attorney, there are different circumstances that can bring each one to an end.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
An LPA grants the appointed attorney the authority to make decisions on behalf of the donor, even if the donor loses mental capacity. There are two types of LPAs: Health and welfare and property and financial affairs.
If the donor (the one who sets up the LPA) is mentally capable, they can revoke or cancel the LPA at any time. However, if the donor loses mental capacity, the LPA remains in effect until the donor's death. Apart from the donor's death, other circumstances can lead to the termination of a Lasting Power of Attorney, including the following:
• Loss of mental capacity: If the appointed attorney (the one making decisions for the donor) loses the ability to make decisions, the LPA will no longer be valid. This could happen due to an illness or injury that impairs the attorney's decision-making abilities for instance.
- Divorce or civil partnership dissolution: The LPA will become invalid if the attorney is the donor's spouse, partner, husband, or wife, and the marriage or civil partnership ends in divorce or dissolution.
- Bankruptcy or Debt Relief Order: The LPA will end if the attorney appointed under a property and financial affairs LPA becomes bankrupt or is subject to a Debt Relief Order (DRO). This termination is specific to the property and financial affairs LPA and does not affect a health and welfare LPA.
- Removal by the Court of Protection: The Court of Protection can remove an attorney if they are not acting in the donor's best interests.
- Death of the attorney: The LPA will automatically terminate if the attorney passes away before the donor.
Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)
Before the introduction of LPAs in 2007, Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) was the standard Power of Attorney. EPAs created before 1st October 2007 can still be used in England, but new EPAs cannot be created now. EPAs only cover property and financial affairs, not health and welfare.
It remains valid even if the donor loses mental capacity. However, if the attorney appointed under an EPA wants to make decisions about the donor's health and welfare, they must apply to the Court of Protection for permission. An EPA ends if the donor cancels it or if they die.
General Power of Attorney
A General Power of Attorney grants someone the authority to act on behalf of the donor but is typically limited to specific situations or time frames. The duration of a General Power of Attorney depends on the terms specified in the document. Once the set time ends, the General Power of Attorney is no longer valid.
Does a Lasting Power of Attorney remain valid after death in the UK?
No, in the UK, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) does not continue to be valid after the donor’s death.
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