A power of attorney is an authority in writing granted by a person (the “Donor”) to another person (the “Attorney”) which allows the Attorney to act on the Donor’s behalf. It allows the Attorney to act as an agent for the Donor and to act on the Donor’s behalf either generally or in limited circumstances.
A general power of attorney is revoked automatically if the Donor subsequently became mentally incapable. It is however possible to create what is known as an Enduring Power of Attorney that will survive the Donor’s subsequent mental incapacity. In this way a person of advancing age or in circumstances where a person might unexpectedly suffer a brain injury can privately arrange in advance to give someone authority to handle his affairs in the event of such incapacity.
It is the duty of the Attorney to apply for registration of the Enduring Power of Attorney if the Donor subsequently becomes mentally incapable. The Enduring Power of Attorney can only be effective in the event the Donor subsequently becomes mentally incapable.
Failure to create an Enduring Power of Attorney can mean that in the event a person loses mental capacity, where the person needs to attend to legal matters, an application to make the person a Ward of Court must be made. This rather antiquated procedure is fraught with limitations and procedures. We can assist the ‘Committee of the Ward’ (the person who will look after the Ward’s financial affairs) in dealing with the wardship procedure.
We can advise on the creation of an Enduring Powers of Attorney and retain this original document in safekeeping for later use if required.