Powers of Attorney

16th June 2016

A Power of Attorney is a legal document created by a person which allows another person to step into their shoes to carry out legal transactions on their behalf. It usually arises when a person, known as the Donor, knows that they will not be in a position at a particular time to carry out their legal affairs. The Attorney then is the person who has responsibility for dealing with the requests of the Donor and acting within the scope of the powers given to them.

There are many different examples of when a Power of Attorney can be used. Their scope can be as broad or as narrow as the Donor wishes. In its most simple form, you can have somebody who will be absent for a short period of time ask an Attorney to attend to one specific item, such as the signing of a Contract or the concluding of negotiations on one specific issue.

At the other end of the scale, you can have a wide ranging, open ended Power of Attorney where the Attorney is given the Donor full scope and discretion to act as they consider appropriate.

The is also an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) which is created by a person while in good mental health and intended to become active if in the event that such person becomes incapacitated and unable to manage their own affairs.

Under an EPA, a Donor gives a general power to an Attorney to act on their behalf. This may be in respect of all or some of the person’s property and affairs, or to do specified things on the person’s behalf. The EPA does not come into force until the person lacks capacity in relation to one or more of the decisions specified in the EPA and the EPA is then registered with the Director of the Decision Support Service.

The EPA cannot contain any decision relating to the refusal of life-sustaining treatment, or any item already covered by a pre-existing Advance Healthcare Directive, also known as a Living Will.

There has been an increase in people creating Powers of Attorney and in particular EPAs, in order to provide for their futures. The public are very in tune with the onset of mental illness and the possibility that people may not be able to conduct their own legal affairs if they become unwell.

For further details, please contact – https://www.odwyersolicitors.ie/contact/