Changes to Powers of Attorney

Changes to Enduring Powers of Attorney (“EPA”) will come into effect shortly when Part 7 of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 commences.

EPA rules to change

EPA rules to change

Ultimately, the changes introduce more safeguards for the person creating the EPA, the Donor. There will be more requirements at the time the document is being executed, at the time of its registration, and also, most importantly, at post-registration stage.

The 2015 Act creates a Director of the Decision Support Service who will review all applications for registration of an EPA to ensure all statutory criteria have been met and the proposed Attorney is a “suitable” person to take on the role.

The most significant change for Attorneys is post-registration. Going forward there will be obligations to report to the Director of the Decision Support Service at various stages. This includes:

  • within three months of registration, the Attorney must submit a schedule of the Donor’s assets and liabilities, and a projections statement of the Donor’s income and expenditure;
  • the Attorney must keep proper accounts and financial records (including details of costs, expenses and remuneration) and submit such accounts and records;
  • the Attorney must submit a written report of the performance of his or her functions. Note this obligation extends to Attorneys who have authority in respect of personal welfare decisions.

Please note that, subject to certain exceptions, the 2015 Act will not apply to EPAs created under the current Powers of Attorney Act 1996. Until this new legislation formally commences, the 1996 Act will apply. If you would like more information on this topic, please get in touch with Susan today.

The cost of creating an EPA is from €150.00.

What is an EPA, in short?

An EPA is a document you, the Donor, create that appoints an Attorney(s) to manage your affairs if, at some stage in the future, you become mentally incapable of managing your own affairs. You must be of sound mind to execute an EPA, and the document must be signed by you, by the Attorney, by your solicitor and by your doctor. Notice of its execution must be given to 2 other people, preferably family members.

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