Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal process in which you can choose to give another person the authority to make decisions concerning your affairs on your behalf, should you become unable to do so in the future. This many include making decisions on the management of your property and financial affairs.
It is your decision who you choose to be your attorney, so long as the individual is 18 or over and not declared bankrupt. It is also important to note that you can choose as many attorneys as you wish to manage your affairs, this is normally between one and four people. You may also choose to use a professional such as a solicitor to be your attorney.
Why should I consider making an Enduring Power of Attorney?
Should you become incapable of managing your affairs due to mental incapacity, either through an accident or illness, an Enduring Power of Attorney will act on behalf of you and make decisions for you.
There are of course many things to consider when making an Enduring Power of Attorney such as tailoring it to include restrictions, conditions or limitations on powers over specific areas of your affairs. Things to consider are, for example, whether you give the attorney the power to sell your home, restrictions on assets or bank accounts.
How does an Enduring Power of Attorney become effective?
Enduring Powers of Attorney must be set up and registered with the High Court before they are needed. It must be signed by you when you are mentally capable of making your own decisions. When setting this up, you can stipulate which affairs you want your attorney to deal with once you are incapable of making such decisions.
What is the role of the Attorney?
Your attorney will have important decisions to make on your behalf. It is vital you choose someone you can trust to act in your best interests and who will make choices that are reflective of your wishes. This is something that you can discuss with the person you choose to ensure they are clear about your wishes.
It is critical that the person you appoint as your attorney carries out their duties appropriately including keeping you involved in decisions where and if possible, keeping records of all activities associated with your affairs, not benefiting in any way and acting in your best interests.
Contact RP Crawford & Co Solicitors
At RP Crawford & Co Solicitors, we offer over 40 years’ experience in this area and happy to provide a free initial consultation. We understand that this is a sensitive issue and offer the best possible advice in an approachable manner.