Enduring Powers of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)- or Living Will as it is sometimes known as, is an instrument which sets down an individual’s wishes in a special Power of Attorney. It sets out the powers their Attorney should have over their affairs both personal and business in the event of the individual (or donor) becoming mentally incapable of doing so in the future.
The execution of an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a sensible and necessary step for an individual to take in order to safeguard their future requirements. In doing so, the individual keeps control over their affairs and wishes in the event of their becoming incapacitated at some future time whether as a result of an accident or illness.
Once executed an EPA remains dormant until such time as it is required to be activated (if ever) and it is then registered in the High Court. In the case of a temporary incapacitation such as a coma, it can be revoked once the individual (or donor) is deemed to be Copus Mentus or able to manage their affairs again.
What happens if I have not made an Enduring Power of Attorney?
If a person loses the capacity to manage their own affairs and they have not executed an Enduring Power of Attorney then it may be necessary to have such a person made a Ward of Court.
This is when the opportunity has passed for the execution of an Enduring Power of Attorney or where one never existed. In this situation the only option open to a family of an individual who becomes incapacitated is to apply to the High Court to make the individual a Ward of Court.
The Wardship procedure is commenced in the High Court by petition in the Office of the Registrar of Wards of Court. The President of the High Court will direct an inquiry into the capacity of the individual prior to determining whether the individual should be taken under the protection of the Court. A Committee is then set up to manage the Ward’s Affairs. This is quite an archaic and complicated procedure and can be avoided if the Individual has executed an Enduring Power of Attorney which will contain all of their wishes.
We can advise you and draft the appropriate Enduring Power of Attorney on your behalf.