Power of Attorney
Do you need advice about the
creation of a Power of Attorney?
It is a common nowadays that many people may have worries about have about how they will handle their life affairs should they become incapacitated or ill. It is unquestionably a prudent idea to plan ahead for a time when you may require assistance with the handling of such matters and this is why creating a Power of Attorney is an excellent idea. Downing Courtney and Larkin Solicitors LLP provide specialised advice in this area.
A Power of Attorney is a legally binding document that an individual executes that authorises a nominated person to handle matters pertaining to your finances and home.
The “attorney” is the person specifically appointed to act as such and the person creating the document itself is said to be the “donor”. There is no requirement for the attorney to be a solicitor or any other type of legal representative.
There are two types of Powers of Attorney :
- An Enduring Power of Attorney is a way of appointing someone you trust and rely on to make choices should a time ever arise in your life, where you do not have the mental ability to make such choices. The reasons for creating an Enduring Power of Attorney is two fold:
- To ensure that there is provision for assistance in managing your finances should you become incapacitated to do so;
- To ensure that there is provision for assistance in managing decisions regarding your care and well being if you become incapable of making such decisions.
Examples of how an Enduring Power of Attorney may operate with regard to financial decisions is as follows:
- Dealing with payments on homeloans/mortgages
- Organising general home maintenance and repairs
- Property Sales/Purchases
- Managing any investments
- Discharging payments for care costs – maybe we should bump this up the list as it is usually people’s no.1 concern when a parent etc loses capacity
- Discharging payments for general expenses
With regard to healthcare decisions, an attorney would usually decide such items as:
- Where you need to live
- What medical care requirements you have
- What your dietary requirements are
- Who you need to have contact with
- A Power of Attorney authorises one or more persons to handle a donor’s financial affairs. This type of agreement holds validity so long as the donor has the mental capacity to make their own choices. This type of Power of Attorney is set up for example, where the donor is on holidays and is temporarily unavailable. This type of Power of Attorney ceases to have effect once any of the following occur:
- The donor revokes or withdraws the Power of Attorney
- The donor becomes mentally incapacitated with regard to the ability to make own decisions about their financial affairs
- The attorney themselves dies or loses their mental capacity
- The purpose for which the Power of Attorney was created to carry out has been fulfilled or finished
- The specific time period (if any)set out in the Power of Attorney elapses
Once created, the attorney has the ability to act on the donor’s behalf if they become incapacitated due to a physical or other medical condition, or become missing abroad or in Ireland. The person creating the Power of Attorney can decide on the scope of the powers that they wish to endow on another. It can be a very expansive document covering a range of powers or it can be confined to a very specific power such as the limited power to sell a property.
It is up to you how expansive you wish your Attorney’s powers to be and you can limit or define their scope. There are several mechanisms that can be included that will protect you as the Donor and Downing Courtney & Larkin Solicitors LLP have years of experience in guiding clients in this area and are more than happy to discuss same.
It is extremely important to be fully cognisant of what a Power of Attorney entails before setting one up with your solicitor. You must never be in a position where you feel coerced or forced into the creation of this document, and you should consider any alternative arrangements that may be open to you. Furthermore, it is crucial that you also have the full mental capacity to create a Power of Attorney. You should also exert extreme caution in selecting the relevant person you wish to become your Attorney and allow them time to consider the impact of so acting. Again, Downing Courtney & Larkin Solicitors LLP will assist you in making this important decision.
We are always available to discuss making a Power of Attorney in a sensitive and completely confidential manner.
Please feel free to contact us now for a complimentary, no -obligation fee quotation and we will revert to you within 24 hours. Or you can telephone us directly on 064 66 31061 and speak to a member of our team immediately.
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