This article describes how you go about registering/activating an enduring power of attorney (EPA), allowing you (the ‘attorney’) to make decisions regarding someone else’s (the ‘donor’s’) assets and property, on their behalf.
To be clear, the enduring power of attorney has now been replaced by the lasting power of attorney as such, this article only deals with enduring powers of attorney made, and signed, before 1st October 2007.
Before registering the EPA, it’s worth double checking that the document is valid. Particularly if the individual still has capacity (some or all of the time) and there may be scope for correction.
- Is the document properly signed and witnessed by the donor, and signed by all the attorneys?
- Was the donor over 18 and did they have capacity when the EPA was made?
- Are all the attorneys over 18 and have they remained out of bankruptcy since the document was made?
If the answers to all of these is ‘yes’ then the document can be registered.
Registration of the document should take place either with permission of the donor or immediately on their losing capacity. You register an enduring power of attorney using two forms: EP1PG (used to notify interested parties of registration) and EP2PG (used to register the document with the authorities). Both are available from the www.gov.uk website.
First you must complete, and send, form EP1PG to: the donor; 3 members (or groups of members) of the donor’s family (this must be done according to a specific hierarchy see below); any attorneys appointed in the document.
These parties then have 35 days to object to the registration.
With respect to notifying family members, 3 of the following ‘eligible groups of family members’ should receive form EP1PG. All members of each group should receive the form e.g. all children of the donor, and they must be over 18 and have capacity to ‘count’ towards the ‘3’.
The groups of family members are listed below in order of priority, and all efforts must be made to locate them. For clarity, the hierarchical approach means that supplying forms to e.g. siblings, does not remove the need to seek out spouses, children or parents of the donor. Only if no suitable member of any group senior in the hierarchy, can be identified, will a junior category ‘count’ towards notification of ‘3 eligible family members’
The order in which family members should be notified is as follows (relationships are with respect to the donor): spouse/civil partner; children (not step children); parents; siblings; widow(er)s of deceased children; grandchildren; nephews/nieces; aunts/uncles; first cousins.
Nb. if the need to identify ‘3 eligible family members’ cannot be satisfied, the office of the public guardian should be notified.
Application to register the form
Once the above notifications have taken place, form EP2PG should be downloaded from the www.gov.uk website, completed, attached to the original EPA document (or certified copy) and sent with payment (see below) to*:
Office of the Public Guardian
PO Box 16185
Payment, in the form of a cheque made out to ‘Office of the Public Guardian’ (write the donor’s name on the back of the cheque), for £82, should be included with the documents.
Assuming no objection, the registration process typically takes 8-10 weeks.
*if you are a member of the DX Exchange courier service send documents to : Office of the Public Guardian, DX 744240, Birmingham 79.
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You can also download the EP2OG Download Here