The procedure for the creation of an Enduring Power of Attorney was introduced by Statutory Instrument in 1996 as the “Enduring Powers of Attorney Regulations 1996”.  It greatly simplified the procedure for the creation and recognition of an Enduring Power of Attorney which is often referred to as a “Living Will”.

If you lose your capacity through illness or accident and do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, then sometimes an application must be made to have you become a “Ward of Court”.  This process is a Court based process and everything that is done for someone under that process is done by application to the Wards of Court Office.  It is therefore less time consuming and less expensive to have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place.  It is usual to nominate a close  family member to be  your nominated Attorney and  (s)he will be entitled to manage  your financial and personal affairs  for you much more  easily (in accordance  with the wishes  set out in your Enduring Power of  Attorney).  It is therefore highly preferable and advisable to have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place particularly as one advances in years and if there is any deterioration in one’s health.  In an ideal world everybody should have an Enduring Power of Attorney created   (in addition to a Last Will and Testament) however  an important  distinction to remember is that your Last Will and Testament  does not  become a relevant  document until after you have died.  Your Enduring Power of Attorney will become relevant if your Attorney has to activate the powers on foot of that document if you become incapacitated.

In order to create an Enduring Power of Attorney your Doctor and your Solicitor will each sign Certificates confirming that, in their opinion, you are capable of understanding the nature, extent and import of an Enduring Power of Attorney.  You then select a person or persons (usually two) to act as attorney on your behalf in the event that you become mentally (and often physically) incapacitated and are no longer capable of managing your affairs.  Typically, an Attorney is a close family relative who can also make health decisions on your behalf.   Notice of the creation of the Enduring Power of Attorney is served on two other close family members.  The purpose of this provision  is to ensure  that there is no future  abuse of process by the attorney as  should the attorney(s) wish  to invoke  their  powers  on foot of the document then  notice of their  intention to do so has  to be served on the notice  parties.  An Enduring Power of Attorney, after it is created, remains dormant unless the necessity arises to invoke the document which, thankfully, only arises in a relatively small percentage of cases. 

The cost  of creating an Enduring  Power of  Attorney is relatively  inexpensive and should you  wish  to  consult  us  at  O’Hara  Solicitors, Cross Street, Athenry, Telephone  091 844045 or by email at joh@oharasolicitors.com  we would be happy  to help you.