Why create an Enduring Power of Attorney?
With an increase in illnesses that can affect your mental capacity, such as Early Onset Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, it is becoming increasingly important to organise an Enduring Power of Attorney.
If you lose capacity and do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, it will be difficult for your family to access your funds and assets and to utilise same for your care and well-being.
Accordingly, creating an Enduring Power of Attorney is a very practical course of action. It allows you to have full control over your affairs while you have capacity, with the further advantage of easing the inevitable stress and anxiety for your family, in the event that you lose your mental capacity.
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to appoint another person, called an Attorney, to make decisions on your behalf in relation to your property and affairs. The Attorney can only make these decisions when you no longer have the mental capacity to make such decisions.
What decisions can your Attorney make on your behalf?
You can give your Attorney a general power in relation to all your property and affairs. If this is the case, your Attorney will be able to deal with your money and assets and may be able to sell your house.
Instead of giving your Attorney a general power, in relation to all your property and affairs, you can give your Attorney specific powers and you can tailor your Enduring Power of Attorney according to your own particular wishes and requirements. For example, you can insert a restriction that prevents your Attorney from selling your house.
An Attorney can also make decisions in relation to your personal care. For instance, they can decide the following: –
- Where you should live;
- With whom you should live;
- Whom you should see and not see;
- What training or rehabilitation you should get;
- Your diet and dress;
- Inspection of your personal papers;
- Housing, Social Services and other benefits for you.
Again, the above powers can be omitted or tailored according to your own preference.
Attorney – Who you should choose?
You can choose anybody you wish to be your Attorney. For example, you can choose your spouse, co-habitant, civil partner, child, sibling, cousin or friend. It is important to appoint somebody that you trust to make decisions that are in your best interest. You can pick more than one person and you can also appoint a substitute Attorney in the event that one of the other Attorneys dies or no longer wishes to act.
What safeguards are in place?
It is important to remember that once you create an Enduring Power of Attorney, it will be held in safekeeping until such time as you may lose the mental capacity to make decisions in relation to your affairs and property. It is only when you lose capacity that your Attorney can register the Enduring Power of Attorney according to formal court procedures which will then come into force under the supervision of the High Court.
In addition, before the Enduring Power of Attorney is registered, your treating Doctor will be requested to provide a report confirming that you no longer have the capacity to make decisions in relation to your affairs and property. Furthermore, when you put in place your Enduring Power of Attorney, you will have to give notice to two Notice Parties. At least one of these Notice Parties, must be your next-of-kin but cannot be the Attorney appointed under the Enduring Power of Attorney.
Hughes Murphy Solicitors can assist you with all your
Enduring Powers of Attorney queries. Please call us on
1800 910 912 or submit our Contact Form to receive a
call-back for more information.