Most people would agree that a Will is an important document for everyone to have, however, for those of us who will lose the mental capacity to act for ourselves an Enduring Power of Attorney is even more essential.
An Enduring Power of Attorney enables you, as Donor, to appoint one or more Attorneys who will deal with your property and affairs should you become mentally incapable of managing your affairs. Your Attorneys will essentially ‘step into your shoes’ and make appropriate decisions for you in relation to your property and health care.
The strength of having the Enduring Power of Attorney document is three-fold;
- Flexibility – You can appoint one or more Attorneys, whom you can instruct to act together or empower each Attorney to act separately. Restrictions can also be placed on the powers of your Attorneys or you can limit their powers to certain property or affairs.
- Cost – An Enduring Power of Attorney is a simple document, that can be completed at any time, not just when it appears that you may have capacity issues in the future. The simplicity of the form allows legal costs to be kept low, during both creation and registration of the Power. Once completed, the Enduring Power of Attorney will be placed l in our safe for safekeeping.
- Certainty – I know you don’t want to think about how may one day you may lose the capacity to act for yourself, no one does, but having the Enduring Power of Attorney in place acts as a fail-safe. The alternative, Controllership, requires an in-depth application to the Office of Care & Protection and a larger burden on your Controllers by way of higher costs, increased Court oversight etc.
The hope is to never need to register the Enduring Power of Attorney, but if the Power is required the Attorneys’ must give Notice by post to three close family members. A Notice must also be given to the Donor in person and any of the family members or the Donor can file objections in the Office of Care and Protection if they don’t feel it is appropriate to register the Power of Attorney. These safeguards protect the Donor from an Attorney registering the Power prematurely.
As part of our comprehensive and holistic estate planning service, we now provide Power of Attorney advice, regardless of age, when dealing with Will or other estate planning instructions. If you would like to find out more about how an Enduring Power of Attorney could factor into your estate planning please contact our office.
Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be legal advice or research but if you do wish to receive advice on any of the content discussed please contact us on 028 3752 5400 and we will be happy to help you. Please note that whilst we will aim to provide accurate information the world changes at a fast pace so always follow up with your solicitor to ensure you are fully up to date with same.