Enduring Power of Attorney Applications
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document that is created to give one person the authority to represent another person or to act in their place for a specific purpose of for a specific amount of time. A good example of this is where an individual is residing abroad appoint someone in Ireland to handle their affairs for the duration of them being abroad. However, on their return to Ireland the POA can be revoked and thus the authority reverts to the individual to manage their own affairs.
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is similar in the sense that this document is created to give one person the authority to represent another person. However, the crucial difference is that it does not have immediate effect, the authority may vest at some unknown date in the future if and when the individual becomes mentally incapacitated. An individual may wish to prepare an EPA where they have been diagnosed with certain medical conditions or to provide peace of mind that if anything did happen to them, their affairs would be managed by a particular family member or loved one.
In order to prepare a valid EPA you must consult with both a doctor and a solicitor. This is to confirm that you have the appropriate mental capacity at the time of signing and also to ensure that you fully comprehend the legal effect of its creation.
The EPA does not come into effect until it is registered and your solicitor will retain your documents for safe keeping until such a time as you become unable to manage your own affairs. Once your solicitor has been advised of this, an application will be made to the High Court to register the EPA and the authority to act will on your behalf will vest in your chosen individual or individuals.
For some clients, preparing an EPA forms an important part of their estate plan. At Hoban Boino we can advise you in relation to the preparation of your EPA and give you peace of mind that your affairs will be taken care of if required at any stage in the future.
Where no Enduring Power of Attorney is in place and an individual become mentally incapacitated and can no longer manage their own affairs, their family or next of kin may make an application to the High Court to have them deemed a ward of court.
Wardship applications can be more complicated than EPA applications and they are generally a last resort where someone has unexpectedly become unable to manage their affairs due to the effect of illness or old age on their mental capacity. Where an application is made successfully and the person is deemed a ward of court, a committee will be appointed to handle the individual’s affairs.
Similar to an EPA, the purpose of wardship is to ensure that the individuals personal and financial affairs can be appropriately managed in the event that they lack capacity. Applications for Wardship are also made to the High Court and the person bringing the application must lodge a range of documents to support their belief that the individual in question can no longer manage their affairs.
At Hoban Boino, we will advise you in relation to the essential elements of the application and work with you to ensure that your loved one is taken care of.