An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document appointing a person or persons (attorney) to act on behalf of another person (donor) to manage their affairs in the event that they lose mental capacity through illness or injury. The Attorney is usually a family member or close friend or someone the donor trusts implicitly to step into their shoes and mange their financial affairs and care decisions.
The document can only come into effect when it is registered in the Wards of Court office. For it to be registered, the attorney must make an application to the Wards of Court Office with two reports from two separate medical practitioners such as a GP or Consultant confirming that the donor no longer has mental capacity to manage their affairs. The attorney cannot begin to act officially until a certificate of registration is issued to them.
Our team provide practical, tailored advice when drafting an Enduring Power of Attorney, Power of Attorney, or making a Wards of the Court application. We are meticulous in our drafting practices and will ensure that your document accurately reflects your wishes and your EPA is drafted to suit your circumstances.
Our team also assist in advising the Attorney when the Donor no longer has capacity. We assist in drafting all documents and applying to the Wards of Court Office to have the EPA registered
What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Attorney?
Many people confuse a Power of Attorney with an Enduring Power of Attorney. Creating a Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone to manage your affairs on your behalf. You may require one because you are leaving the country for a period, or you may be about to undergo lengthy medical treatment and want someone else to look after day-to-day bills.
An Enduring Power of Attorney only takes effect when a person becomes mentally incapacitated and the document is registered with the Wards of Court Office.
People are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. Unfortunately, this means that age-related diseases, particularly dementia, are rising. In 2017 it was estimated that 55,000 people in Ireland were living with dementia and this number is expected to more than double to 113,000 by 2036. Dementia results in loss of mental capacity over time.
An EPA comes into effect with mental capacity is lost through an acquired brain injury. Therefore, having an EPA in place provides comfort that someone you know and trust will manage your affairs if you are no longer able to do so. It will eliminate the need for the Ward of Courts process and will assist family members in catering for your needs should you lose capacity.
What is a Ward of the Court?
If a person becomes unable to manage their affairs because of mental incapacity and they do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, an application can be made to make them a Ward of the Court. A child under 18 years old can also be made subject to Wardship, for specific reasons such as being at serious risk.
To be made a Ward, the Court must be satisfied that the person subject to the application is of unsound mind. If a person is made a Ward, a Committee (a person or persons assigned to look after the Ward) may be appointed.
How can Lavelle Partners assist?
- Our solicitors are careful listeners and will ensure we understand your wishes fully when it comes to drafting your documents. With our expert knowledge and experience in the area, we can offer guidance and suggestions that will work for your particular circumstance.
- We can provide sensitive advice on applying for Wardship, as we are aware such a step can come at a distressing time.
- We will provide valuable advice on selecting an Attorney and talk you through the type of authority you wish to assign to them to allow you to feel fully confident in the decisions you make and safeguard your personal wellbeing into the future.
- Our team will support you in your role of Attorney, advising on your duties, responsibilities and functions for an situation you may be faced with as Attorney to include assisting in the registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney.
For further information regarding Enduring Powers of Attorney, Powers of Attorney and Ward of Court Applications in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800.