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Enduring Power of Attorney Solicitors in Belfast

March 19, 2020

At Keenan Solicitors we have over twenty years of experience advising clients about how to put in place a Power of Attorney to help them look after their affairs if they are not able to do it themselves.

A Power of Attorney allows you to choose someone to deal with certain financial matters on your behalf.

In Northern Ireland ther are two types of Power of Attorney available

-General Power of Attorney (GPA)

-Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)

In this post we will deal with an Enduring Power of Attorney. We have a seperate Blog post that gives you useful information about a General Power of Attorney.

Enduring Power of Attorney

Many of us assume that we will be able to manage our affairs thorughout our lives however sometimes events take over and whether it is through accident, illness, injury or a deterioration of our mental capacity this is not always possible and it is reassuring to know that we can put in place ways to ensure that someone we trust can act on our behalf.

A legal document ( called a Deed) can be signed when you are well that authorises someone to act on your behalf in relation to all, or specified property and financial matters. This authority continues if your mental capacity decreases.

Do I Lose Control When I Sign An EPA?

You are potentially sharing control when you appoint an Attorney. You can stipulate that it must not come into operation unless you become mentally incapacitated. Many people prefer to make this a condition.Other people want the EPA to come into effect if they are metally capable but physically unfit. These are matters that we would discuss carefully with you before finalising the Deed.

Is This Just  A Note Of My Wishes? 

No. A specific format must be followed. At Keenan Solcitors we can advise you and prepare a Power of Attorney to meet your wishes.

Do I Need A Power Of Attorney If I Have a Will?

Yes. Your Will only applies after you die. A Power of Attorney deals with looking after your affairs when you are alive but unwell.

Who Should I Appoint As My Attorney?

Someone you trust. It's usually a family member, a friend or a professional advisor. As they will have control of you finances (unless you restrict it) you must be sure that they will act with your intersts at heart. 

What Power Does An Attorney Have?

Subject to the terms of the EPA, an Attorney has wide authority to stand in your shoes and make decisions about your property, income and finances. An Attorney can not make a Will and certain other matters. We will be happy to advise you about these restrictions.

Can My Attorney Make Medical Decisions For Me?

No. Your Attorney can not make medical or personal welfare decisions for you.

What Responsibilities Does My Attorney Have?

At all times they must act in your best intersts. They must apply to register the EPA in the Office of Care and Protection in the High Court  if you have become incapable of managing your affairs. During this process they are "on hold" until it has been approved by the Court.

Will I Know If My Attorney Has Applied To Register my EPA?

Yes. They must give you formal notice if steps are being taken to register the EPA. As an extra protection they must give notice to a number of your next of kin. You, or your family members can lodge an objection if it is thought to be inappropriate and it would be investigated by the court before approving the registration.

Can I Change My Mind And Revoke an EPA?

Yes. You can revoke an EPA while you remain mentally capable and your EPA has not been used. You should give notice to your Attorney. 

Once it has been registered an EPA can only be revoked by the High Court.

If I recover My Capacity ,Who Is In Charge Of My Affairs?

There is a proceedure to de-register an EPA which will allow you to resume control. We can guide you through this process.

Is It Expensive? 

No. At Keenan Solcitors we charge a modest fee to prepare and execute a Power of Attorney. We would be happy to give you an idea of the costs at the start of the process.

If you have any questions about Powers of Attorney, Wills or other ways that you can ensure that your affairs are in order please give us a call at:

02890493349

or send an email to:

adrienne@keenanlaw.co.uk 

 

 

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