Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA)
Have you considered how you or your family would cope if you were to suffer from some accident or illness such as dementia or Alzheimer’s which deprived you of the mental capacity to look after your own affairs? Also with increasing life expectancy, there is a growing need to have an arrangement in the event of mental incapacity arising.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are legal documents in which you appoint someone you trust to look after your affairs on your behalf.
We recommend our clients make Enduring Powers of Attorney even if they are in good health. It is very much easier to set them up before they are needed. If it is left until someone can no longer look after their own affairs the process is far more complex. The Power of Attorney is not used until the person who has made it is unable to look after their own affairs.
There are two types of Power of Attorney – one for Health and Welfare, the other for Property and Financial affairs. Normally we incorporate both.
Wards of Court
In Ireland, if a person is capable of managing his or her own affairs due to mental incapacity, a wardship application can be made to the High Court to have that person made a Ward of Court.
The court will make a decision as to whether the person is capable of managing his or her own property for their benefit or for the benefit of their dependants.
The court will appoint a medical inspector who will report back to the court. If it is decided that the person cannot manage his or her own property because of mental incapacity, the person becomes a Ward of Court. A Committee will be appointed, accountable to the court, to take charge of the Ward’s property on the Ward’s behalf.
The Petition for Wardship, usually by a near relative must be verified by an affidavit of the petitioner and supported by the affidavits of two doctors. The affidavits must be based upon recent medical examinations.