Thankfully it is now possible to provide for the further management of one’s property and financial affairs, should mental incapacity arise.
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) allows a person (the Donor) to give another person authority to act on his or her behalf in respect of the Donor’s property and financial affairs. Should you be unfortunate to lose mental capacity through illness or traumatic injury the person of your choice (your Attorney), can manage your assets with legal authority and at minimum of cost and difficulty.
Whilst most Enduring Powers of Attorney are executed by older people, they may be executed by an adult at any age. One’s choice of Attorney is extremely important, as that person stands in the Donor’s shoes, with access to the Donor’s property and financial affairs. Trust is paramount. If you are doubtful about the integrity of an Attorney, an Enduring Power of Attorney should not be executed in favour of that person, or should be revoked.
An Enduring Power of Attorney can ease family difficulties at a time of major emotional and financial strain. It must be executed in a prescribed form, and registered with the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland, if the Donor is becoming or has become mentally incapable. Creating an Enduring Power of Attorney is inexpensive, yet it can save significant fees, difficulties and delays.
We advise that an Enduring Power of Attorney should only be entered into on an informed basis, following discussion as to its implications, its benefits, and its possible abuse. Lawyers are best placed to advise on this front and we are well experienced in this area.