Enduring Power of Attorney (1)
What is an enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal mechanism which an individual ( called a donor) sets up when he or she is mentally well. The purpose is to allow another person (called the attorney) to make decisions on the donor's behalf if the donor becomes mentally incapacitated. An Enduring Power of Attorney is a very useful tool in cases, where for example, a person develops alzheimers or dementia.
Why sign up to an Enduring Power of Attorney?
If an individual becomes mentally incapacitated, that person's assets are frozen in much the same was as a person's assets are frozen on death. So while the individual's needs continue and must be met, because they are mentally incapacitated all their assets, including bank accounts, are frozen and cannot be used.
How do I create an Enduring Power of Attorney?
To create an Enduring Power of Attorney you need to engage a solicitor. Your solicitor will be required to get a statement from your doctor to the effect that your doctor believes that you, at the time that you are making the Enduring Power of Attorney, have mental capacity and that you understand what you are doing.
Your solicitor will also have to get a statement from you to the effect that you understand the effect of creating the Enduring Power of Attorney. The solicitor will also have to make a statement to the effect that the solicitor believes that you understand the effect of creating the Enduring Power of Attorney and that you were not acting under undue influence.
This is a complex process. It is very important to ensure that there are safeguards in place when an Enduring Power of Attorney is being created.
Two people, other than the attorney(s) must be notified in writing of the fact that you have created the Enduring Power of Attorney. One of these must be your spouse or civil partner if you have one and you are living with him or her. Otherwise, one of your notice parties must be your child. If you do not have a child, there is a list of who must be notified set out in legislation.
Who can be my Attorney?
Almost anybody over the age of 18 years who you wish to choose, can be your attorney.Most people pick family members such as their spouse or children.
Who cannot be my Attorney?
A child cannot be an your Attorney ( i.e. anybody under the age of 18 years).
A bankrupt cannot be your Attorney.Persons convicted of offences involving fraud or dishonesty, cannot be your Attorney.