An Enduring Power of Attorney can be described as a “just in case” document. ‘Just in case’ ill health occurs and hinders your ability to make important life decisions, this arrangement allows you to plan for your future.
An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to appoint attorneys (persons nominated by you, usually family or friends) to deal with your financial affairs and personal care decisions in the event of a loss of capacity. To be effective, the document must be registered in the High Court.
Now that we know what an Enduring Power of Attorney is, how do you set one up?
- Set up a detailed discussion with your solicitor to set out what decision making powers you would like to delegate to your attorneys.
- Once this document is drafted, it is signed by you and your chosen attorneys.
- A standard medical certificate is sent to your doctor to confirm your capacity to make the Enduring Power of Attorney.
- This document also requires you to choose a number of notice parties – your notice parties are served with a notice confirming that you have set up a notice power of attorney. The notice parties are your next of kin.
The process for registration of an Enduring Power of Attorney is best carried out by your solicitor – this is necessary to ensure that the document will have legal effect when needed.
What can an Enduring Power of Attorney deal with?
An Enduring Power of Attorney allows the make to delegate decisions regarding financial affairs and personal care decisions.
What can an Enduring Power of Attorney not deal with?
Medical decisions, at the moment, remain a matter for your next of kin to deal with. In addition an Enduring Power of Attorney has no effect after death; a person’s Will takes effect after death.
Who should make an Enduring Power of Attorney?
Ideally, everyone with assets or property should have an Enduring Power of Attorney; this applies even if all assets are in joint names. Unfortunately, loss of capacity can affect anyone regardless of age.
In the absence of an Enduring Power of Attorney, if a person suffers loss of capacity and cannot make their own decisions the only alternative is to make a Wardship application to the High Court. In this case the person will be declared a Ward of Court. This is an expensive and lengthy procedure and can be avoided by making an Enduring Power of Attorney. If you would like to know more about making an Enduring Power of Attorney, feel free to contact us.