Enduring Power of Attorney

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney is an Instrument signed by a person (the Donor) giving the Donee (the Attorney) the power to act on behalf of the Donor in accordance with the terms of the Instrument in the event that the Donor becomes mentally incapacitated. Enduring Powers of Attorney are concerned promarliy with the care of a person and the management of their assets during their lifetime, should they become mentally incapable of managing their own affairs.

When does an Enduring Power of Attorney become effective?

An Enduring Power of Attorney will contain a statement by the donor to the effect that the donor intends the power to be effective during any subsequent mental incapacity of the Donor.  Therefore, as long as the Donor retains mental capacity the Enduring Power of Attorney will have no effect.

What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney?

The essential difference between an Enduring Power of Attorney and a general Power of Attorney is that the general Power of Attorney ceases to have effect if the Donor becomes mentally incapacitated.

What is the scope of An Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney may give the appointed attorney(s) a general power to act.  This means the Attorney may have power over the property, financial and business affairs and personal care decisions of the donor.  The General Power may be subject to certain restrictions.  So, for example, the EPA may specify that the attorney has the right to sell the donor’s property but may also specify that this is only to be done in certain circumstances.

Alternatively, the powers given to the Attorney can be restricted to making decision in relations to personal care only.  Personal Care decisions include:

Where the donor should live;
With whom the donor should live;
Whom the donor should see;
What training or rehabilitation the donor should get;
The donor’s dress and diet;
Inspection  of the donor’s personal papers;
Housing, social welfare and other benefits for the donor.

It is important to remember that any personal care decisions made by the Attorney must be in the donor’s best interests.

What are the advantages of creating an Enduring Power of Attorney?

For people who have the foresight to put an EPA in place the most significant advantage is that they have chosen their own substitute decision maker should they ever need one.  This means that by choosing their Attorney, the Donor can exercise or influence how and by whom decisions for them will be made if they should suffer impairment or loss of mental capacity.

Who should I chose to be my Attorney?

You may appoint two Attorneys who can act jointly or severally.  As the Attorneys you appoint will make decisions for you in accordance with the terms of the EPA it is important to appoint people whom you trust and in whom you have confidence to act in your best interests.  You can appoint your spouse, son, daughter, grandchild, niece, nephew or friend.  Also, you can name people in the EPA whom you would like to be consulted in relation to any decisions being made on your behalf.

I have decided I would like to execute an Enduring Power of Attorney.  How do I go about it?

Firstly, think about whom you wish to appoint as your Attorneys and about the scope of the power you would like to give them.  Then all you have to do is make an appointment with Samantha Holton to give your instructions and we will take care of the rest for you.

For an appointment with Samantha to discuss an Enduring Power of Attorney Call 01 4554723 or email: samantha@kwsols.ie