Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA)
We recommend our clients over the age of eighty or any client prompted by their Medical Advisors to make an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). An EPA deals with the situation where a person becomes permanently mentally incapacitated. It enables the appointment of Attorneys to act on our client’s behalf if this happens rather than being made a Ward of Court.
An example would be where a husband and wife have three children, two daughters in Ireland and a son in the US. Both husband and wife would appoint their daughters as attorneys with the notice parties being each other and their son. The form would be signed in our offices by the husband, wife and daughters and also by Joe Clancy who confirms that the EPA was understood by the husband and wife. After the signing the husband and wife's GP would also complete a form to say that there was mental capacity at the time of the execution of the EPA. Once the form is returned signed by the GP notices would be sent out by Registered Post to the son and to each spouse. When the EPA is completed it is lodged in our fireproof cabinets for safekeeping.
The Act enabling the creation of EPAs is relatively recent having come into force in 1996 and they are only now becoming widely known by the public.
In addition to signing an EPA we would advise clients to appoint a trustworthy person as a signing authority on their bank accounts so that funds can be readily obtained in the event of ill health or physical incapacity. As couples get older we would also recommend that all bank accounts, property and any shareholdings be placed in joint names.