While it may be the last thing on many people’s minds, ill-health causing mental incapacitation is, unfortunately, part of life. Unfortunately, people can suffer mental capacity in a variety of ways, most commonly through disability, illness or a progressive disease such as dementia/alzheimers. McMahon & Williams recognise the importance of advising on your legal affairs in the event of such incapacity, particularly as people are living longer.
In the event that a person becomes mentally incapacitated, their assets and property can become frozen. This can be problematic for property held solely and jointly. An Enduring Power of Attorney is a cost effective mechanism designed for situations involving mental incapacity.
What are Enduring Powers of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that only takes effect in the event that that person becomes mentally incapacitated. The person who creates the document, while in good health, is known as the Donor. The Donor appoints an Attorney who will in the future have power to act on the donor’s behalf if the donor becomes unable or incapable mentally of looking after his or her affairs.
It is important to point out that the Donor not prevented from dealing with his/her property and assets by creating an Enduring Power of Attorney. This only happens if the Donor becomes mentally incapacitated and in that event, the appointed Attorney must apply to register the Enduring Power of Attorney. Once registered, the Enduring Power of Attorney authorises an individual such as a family member to make decisions in relation to the assets and property and to make personal care decisions on behalf of a person no longer capable of doing so.
There are various steps involved in creating an EPA, and McMahon & Williams have the expertise and experience to guide you through every step of the process.
McMahon & Williams recognise the importance and benefits of having an Enduring Power of Attorney in place for both those with property in their sole name or in the joint names of yourself and another person. An Enduring Power of Attorney offers peace of mind in allowing a person to decide who will manage their property and affairs in the event of mental incapacity.
The long awaited Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 was signed into law on the 30th December 2015. This provides for the establishment of a more modern framework for Enduring Powers of Attorney. In particular, it provides for the extension of the remit of Enduring Powers of Attorney to include a donor’s healthcare matters. In 2016 Gearoid Williams and Aisling Glynn completed a Law Society Certificate Course in Decision-Making Capacity & Support following the signing into law of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill in January 2016.