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Appointment of attorney Registration of Enduring Power of Attorney Suitability

Appointment of attorney Registration of Enduring Power of Attorney Suitability

By Samantha Holton
Tuesday, 20th December 2016
Filed under: PowerofAttorney, EPA

Powers of Attorney Act 1996 – Estate - Appointment of attorney - Registration of Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) - Objection – Suitability 

Facts: Following the appointment of the respondent as the attorney by the donor, by execution of EPA, and the notice of intention of the respondent to register that EPA, the applicants now sought an order for the refusal of registration of EPA on the basis that the respondent was unsuitable for being the donor’s attorney. The applicants being the children of the donor asserted that the respondent was responsible for causing breakdown of family relations and thus, he was an unsuitable person for acting as an attorney on behalf of the donor. The applicants also objected to the said registration on the basis of certain negligent acts done by the respondent and undue pressure exerted by the respondent on the donor for the execution of the EPA. 
Held : Mr. Justice Barr held that it was appropriate to register the EPA, which was executed by the donor in favour of the respondent. The Court, however, observed that the submissions of the applicants concerning negligence and undue pressure were disputes of facts not capable of being resolved in the present proceedings. The Court held that the only thing that the Court needed to ascertain was whether the hostility between the parties was sufficient to render the attorney unsuitable in all the circumstances to act as an attorney under the EPA. The Court held that notwithstanding the breakdown of relationships between the parties, the attorney fulfilled his duties as assigned under the EPA and there was no adverse impact on the administration of the estate. The Court noted that the respondent did not receive any remuneration or income from the said role of an attorney and thus, he was not unsuitable for acting as an attorney. The Court, however, directed the respondent to provide the details of relevant accounts, sources of income, expenditure of the donor’s estate and gave liberty to the applicants to file objections, if any. 
B (G) and anor v B (H) 
8/11/2016 [2016] IEHC 65