Older People

Enduring power of attorney (EPA)

Putting in place a power of attorney can give you peace of mind that someone you trust will take charge of your affairs, should you no longer have the capacity to do so. The EPA may simply give the attorney the authority to do certain things on your behalf or it may authorise the attorney the authority to take financial, property and personal care decisions on your behalf.

Personal care decisions cover such questions as where and with whom you should live, whom you should see and not see, what training and rehabilitation you should get, and matters of diet and dress. The attorney will also have power to inspect your personal papers, and deal with social welfare and other benefits. These decisions must be made in your best interests, must be in accordance with what you would have been likely to do yourself and can only be made following consultation with family members and carers.

Attorneys appointed ‘jointly’ must always act together. If one attorney does not agree with a proposed action, that action cannot be taken. Attorneys appointed jointly, however, may act independently of each other. A donor is always able to revoke his or her EPA at any time following execution.

Taking out an EPA is a formal two-stage process. The first stage is the creation of the legal instrument. Your solicitor and doctor must be involved, and a number of people, including family members, must be notified. Your doctor must certify your capacity at the time of the execution of the EPA.

Prospect Law will create the relevant documents, organise the signings and notify the relevant parties. We will safely store your EPA at our offices.

EPA Registration

The EPA only comes into effect if and when you lose capacity and may be revoked at any time. If at some stage you lose capacity and your attorneys wish to proceed to register your EPA, your notice parties must be notified of this application. After a period of five weeks’ notice, an application can then be brought with an appropriate medical report to register your EPA.

The courts have an extensive supervisory role in relation to the conduct of attorneys. They have power to give directions about the management and disposal of your property, for example, and may revoke the EPA altogether if they are satisfied that you have the capacity to direct its revocation. These and other procedural safeguards ensure that your wishes are carried out and that you are protected against exploitation.

At Prospect Law, you can rely on us to carry out all the steps that are required for the creation of an EPA. We will store the original documents safely, and, in the event that the EPA needs to be registered or activated, this will be done in a timely fashion. We will also liaise with the Wards of Court Office with any queries that they may have.