Practice areas Enduring Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal device by way of which a person (the donor) gives another specifically appointed person (the attorney) the legal right to take actions on the donor’s behalf.

There are two types of power of attorney in Irish law. One is referred to as “power of attorney” which gives someone a specific or general power and ceases as soon as the donor becomes incapacitated. The other is called “enduring power of attorney” and takes effect on the incapacity of the donor.

The EPA can give general authority to the attorney to do anything they might lawfully do. Alternatively, the EPA can specify acts which the attorney is authorised to carry out on behalf of the donor.

Because of the potentially far-reaching nature of EPAs, the law governing them provides for a number of safeguards to protect the donor from abuse. These include:

  • The donor must confirm that they understand the effect of creating an EPA.
  • A solicitor must be involved to confirm the donor is compus mentis and that the donor is acting out of their own free will in creating the EPA.
  • A doctor must verify that the donor has sufficient capacity to make the EPA and that they understand the effect of creating the power.
  • At least two people who are not going to be the attorney must be notified of the donor’s intention to create a power. The notice parties are generally close family members.
  • When the donor is becoming mentally incapable and a medical certificate confirming same has been obtained, the EPA has to be registered with the Registrar of the Wards of Court, a division of the High Court.
  • Once in place, the High Court has supervisory powers over the EPA and can give directions over the management of the donor’s property.

We have assisted many clients in the creation and registration of EPAs and would be happy to guide you through the complex process of creating an EPA.

Please contact our office on 01 872 5255 or info@lawlorkiernan.ie , if you are thinking about creating an EPA.