In our weekly legal column, the Leader, with the expert advice of the team at GHP Legal, sets out to answer some of your problems. Today's question is answered by solicitor Paul Owen...

Can my EPA still be registered, or do I need to make a new Power of Attorney?

Q: I prepared an Enduring Power of Attorney many years ago naming my son as my Attorney. Until I became ill recently, there was no need to use it. However, when my son took it to the bank last week they said that they could not accept it because it wasn't registered. Is it too late to register it? Or do I need to make a new Power of Attorney?

A: The Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) was replaced with something called the Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in October 2007. Provided the EPA was signed and witnessed correctly before October 2007 it can still be used. However, as your bank rightly said, it does need to be registered.

There is an application form you can use for registering your EPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), which must be accompanied by a registration fee of £82. That said, there may be a reduction or exemption of the fee, depending on a donor's financials circumstances.

It is important to know that an EPA will only deal with your property and financial matters. It will not give your Attorney(s) the ability to make decisions or speak on your behalf about where you live and are cared for, and daily routine and dietary matters, if you have lost capacity. If you want your Attorney(s) to make those decisions for you, then you must make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Health and Welfare.

LPAs are available as two separate documents - one for Health & Welfare and one for Property & Financial Affairs. They help provide peace of mind for you and your family when they have been registered with the OPG, if you should lose capacity in the future.

You can only make an LPA for Health and Welfare and Property and Financial Affairs while you have capacity.

This question has been answered by Paul Owen, a solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter, please visit our website and use the contact us form, or call us on: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194.