Enduring Powers of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document which enables you (donor) to grant authority to a named person or persons (your Attorney) to act on your behalf and deal with your property and financial affairs as well as certain personal care decisions in the event that you become unable to do so at some stage in the future.

Subject to certain important conditions and safeguards, it becomes operative if you become incapable of looking after your affairs and it continues in force until death.  By planning ahead and making an EPA you are able to give your instructions whilst you are of sound mind. You should regard your EPA as an insurance policy against problems which might arise in the future.  If it is never put to use, so much the better. However by signing an EPA you can ensure that your personal welfare and affairs are looked after by one or more persons you have chosen yourself.

You can appoint anyone you wish to be your attorney, including a spouse, civil partner, family member, friend, colleague, etc. (subject to certain legal exclusions).

What Paperwork is Involved?

Your Solicitor must prepare and arrange completion of all necessary document which include:

  • 1. The Enduring Power of Attorney itself which incorporates a full explanation of what is involved.
  • 2. A Statement of opinion signed by your solicitor advising that you fully appreciate the effect of the EPA.
  • 3. A Statement of Opinion signed by your Doctor confirming you are in sound mental health.
  • 4. Notices to at least two parties nominated by you, as persons to be notified of your completion of an EPA.
  • 5. Written acceptance by your Attorney of nomination.

Scope of Authority of an Enduring Power of Attorney

Basically your Attorney can do anything you can unless you have restricted his/her authority specifically in the Enduring Power of Attorney but your Attorney cannot:

  • Remake or alter your will

  • Make substantial gifts (they can make reasonable gifts relative to your financial means)

Apart from these things your attorney can deal with your property and finances and, if you wish, your personal and medical care as you would if you were so able.

When does an enduring power of attorney become effective?

The EPA only comes into effect when it is registered with the Office of Wards of Court (a division of the High Court) and this can only happen if you become or are becoming mentally incapable. Until such time you continue to look after your own affairs as always. An EPA can contain any restrictions you wish and the powers granted can be tailored to your own requirements.

Before the EPA can be registered and used by your attorney notice must be given to you and the people you have specified on signing the EPA (notice parties) so that these people are given the opportunity to object. The application must contain a medical certificate which confirms that a donor is no longer capable of managing their affairs.

We have extensive experience in particular in the following areas:

The donor can revoke an EPA at any time before an application is made to register it. Once the EPA has been registered you cannot revoke it even if you are, for the time being, mentally capable. To revoke it, you would have to apply to the court and the courts approve the revocation.

We have a lot of experience in drafting and execution of Enduring Powers of Attorney for clients. If you would like to discuss Enduring Powers of Attorney please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team on 021-4811955.

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