The attorney(s) should sign the EPA at any time after the donor has signed but before the donor becomes incapable of understanding the nature and effect of creating an Enduring Power otherwise the power will be automatically revoked by the donor’s intervening incapacity. It is therefore, advisable for the attorney(s) to sign as soon as possible.
Who can grant an Enduring Power of Attorney
Anyone can be a donor providing that they are 18 or over and are mentally capable. An attorney must be over 18 and not bankrupt at the time the attorney signs the EPA. A trust corporation such as a bank can be an attorney and professional attorneys can charge for their services.
When choosing an attorney, consider how well they handle their own money, whether or not you can trust them to act in your best interests and to use your money to provide for your needs. If the attorney holds the original document, or it is lodged with a bank or
solicitor the donor should obtain a signed copy to keep with their records.
When a solicitor is asked to prepare the EPA
The Law Society guidelines to solicitors state:
• the donor (rather than the attorney) is the client;
• a solicitor should always consider whether written instructions alone are sufficient, or whether the client should be seen;
• if the instructions come from a third party the solicitor should get written instructions from the client and in any case of doubt see the client or otherwise confirm the instructions.
Appointing more than one attorney
Any number of attorneys may be appointed in the same EPA but the donor will need to decide and to say in the EPA whether the attorneys are to act jointly (that is together on all matters) or jointly and severally (where they may act together or separately, as they choose). If there is more than one attorney, additional sheets should be added to the printed form. These must include all the headings and margin notes as given in Part C of the form.
• If attorneys were appointed to act jointly the EPA expires if one of them dies;
• If attorneys are appointed jointly and severally the survivor(s) can continue to operate the power.
Note: the appointment of a sole attorney may offer less security for your assets than a jointly and severally attorneyship.