Insights

Enduring Powers of Attorney: A Modern Necessity!

 

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney is an instrument which complies with the strict procedural requirements of its governing legislation and only operates if at some point in the future the person who creates the Enduring Power of Attorney (the “Donor”) becomes mentally incapable of managing his/her affairs. As long as the Donor is fully mentally capable then the Enduring Power of Attorney cannot be acted on.

The effect of an Enduring Power of Attorney is to give power to such person(s) that the Donor may appoint as their attorney(s) (the “Attorney”) to manage the Donor’s life, finances and affairs should the Donor become mentally incapable of making such choices and decisions at some point in the future.
Having in place an Enduring Power of Attorney affords the Donor the peace of mind of knowing that should the Donor ever become incapable of managing his/her affairs in the future as a result of mental incapacity then a suitably appointed Attorney will be there to make those decisions as opposed to the Donor being made a Ward of Court.

Why should I make an Enduring Power of Attorney?

Most people who have made a Will in their lifetime will consider that it was a responsible decision to make provision for how their estates should be distributed upon their death. It should viewed as an equally responsible decision to make provision for the management of your affairs and your well being in the event that you should lose full mental capacity and thereby become incapable of making these decisions for yourself.

It is a common misconception that Enduring Powers of Attorney are only of relevance to the elderly or those on the cusp of lacking mental capacity. To adopt this stance could lead to difficulties in later stages of life. One has to appreciate that the loss of mental capacity does not come about only through old age or sudden illness but can arise quite commonly as a result of modern life. For example, if you consider the number of road traffic accidents and work related accidents which are reported on a daily basis then the likelihood of losing mental capacity as a result of sustained injuries does not seem so remote.

How do I go about it?

Reddy Charlton advises it clients to make proper provision for the future by having in place a current updated Will and also an Enduring Power of Attorney so that the future distribution of our clients’ estates on their death and the management of their affairs due to an unforeseen loss of mental capacity will occur in accordance with their wishes as opposed to rules and regulations as legislated by the State.

In the event that you wish for an Enduring Power of Attorney to be put in place or to discuss the matter further then you might please contact Brendan Sharkey of our office who will be happy to assist you in putting the Enduring Power of Attorney in place.

Brendan Sharkey at bsharkey@reddycharlton.ie


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