Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document by which a person (referred to as ”the donor“) gives power to another person (referred to as their "attorney") to act in the future on behalf of the donor during any later mental incapacity.
The purpose of an Enduring Power of Attorney is to allow "the donor" to appoint someone of their own choosing to control all their affairs both personal and financial should they become mentally incapacitated through Alzheimer's disease, brain damage, stroke or dementia. Enduring Powers of Attorney ensure that the Donor’s wishes are adhered to in so far that that their elected nominee, often a trusted relative or family friend, is in control of their affairs.
The services of both a solicitor and a doctor are needed to create an Enduring Power of Attorney.
The donor is required to make a statement, after it has been fully explained to them by their solicitor, that the donor fully understood the effect of creating the Enduring Power of Attorney.
Two people must be notified when the Enduring Power of Attorney is created, informing them that this power has been created and who the appointed attorney/s are. If married and spouse is still alive one of the notice parties must be the spouse.
Wardship (Ward of Court)
Wardship operates in circumstances where a person has not put an Enduring Power of Attorney in place. If this happens, and the person becomes unable to manage his/her affairs, the only alternative is an application to Court for the person to be made a Ward of Court
Following the submission of medical reports to the Wards of Court Office the Court needs to assess whether or not a person is capable of making their own decisions and managing their own property and financial matters.
If the Court is of the opinion that a person cannot manage their own affairs they will appoint a Committee to manage the affairs of the person who has been made a Ward of Court. The Committee is usually a family member who manages the affairs of the person who has been made a Ward of Court in conjunction with the Wards of Court Office.