Can I still use the enduring power of attorney to sell Mum's house?

Enduring powers of attorney were replaced by lasting powers of attorney - can I still use it to sell my mother's house?
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Question: My Mother is very elderly and about 10 years ago, she made an “enduring power of attorney” and named my sister and I as her attorneys. I understand that these days,  most people make “lasting powers of attorney”.  Can I still use the enduring power of attorney to  sell Mum’s house? She is going to have to move to sheltered accommodation soon the way things  are going.

Answer: If the enduring power of attorney was made before September 2007, you may still use it. Enduring powers of attorney were replaced by lasting powers of attorney for property and financial affairs in October 2007. 

Provided your mother has not revoked the arrangement and still has mental capacity, it will be valid and you will be able to use it to sell her house and to deal with her affairs. However, if she has lost her mental capacity, you must register the enduring power of attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian. Once it is registered, you must try to involve your mother in making decisions if at all possible, and you must follow instructions that she has given in her enduring power of attorney.

If your mother has not lost mental capacity, she could, of course, just cancel the enduring power of attorney by a deed of revocation and set up two new lasting powers of attorney - one for property and financial affairs, and one for health and welfare. 

Although the latter of the two may not seem necessary now, it may be a wise move for the future.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is legal director in the real estate group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter (
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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