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Do I need a Power of Attorney?


Posted in [Resources] on Monday, March 15th, 2021

Dementia is a most distressing diagnosis to get, both for the patient and for their loved ones.  A lot needs to be considered. If it is in the early stages then there are certain legal steps that can and perhaps should be taken the patient.

The law does provide a remedy for this distressing situation. A person called an Attorney can be appointed by means of a document called an Enduring Power of Attorney. The Attorney when properly appointed can look after the patient’s personal and financial affairs when they becomes deprived of the mental capacity to do that for themselves. There are certain steps that are required in order to appoint the Attorney and a document known as an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) needs to be drawn up by your Solicitor.

In order to protect all persons, there are further steps that require to be taken which briefly are as follows:

Firstly and obviously, the proposed Attorney (or Attorneys), as selected by the patient, need to be identified and notified. They must agree to act and sign a statement that they understand their duties and obligations, which need to be explained to them.

Apart from the Attorneys, there are two other people who need to be notified (who are not the Attorneys). These need to be just informed that the patient has executed an EPA.

A doctor’s certificate will be required in which the patient’s doctor would verify that the patient had the mental capacity to understand the effect of creating an EPA.

Once the EPA is executed and the notice parties informed, the EPA in effect lays dormant unless and until the patient loses capacity. If that unfortunate time arrives, then the next step can be taken by your Solicitor. This is what is known as registration with the Wards of Court office. Once registered, the Attorneys can then stand as it were in the patient’s shoes and sign such documents as the patient would otherwise sign, if they were competent. There are safeguards in the legislation to prevent abuse and your Solicitor can advise you in relation to these.

If you have any queries please contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at 021 – 4275673 or info@cantillons.com.

Brigid O’Donnell

Associate

Experience

Brigid joined Cantillons in 2018, having previously spent 10 years working in firms in Tipperary and Limerick which specialised in medical negligence, defective product liability and personal injuries actions.

Brigid works as an Associate Solicitor in the General Litigation Department and advises clients in relation to all aspects of civil litigation; to include personal injury claims, workplace accidents, road traffic accidents, public liability claims,  product liability claims, claims against local authorities and claims against the HSE.  She also advises clients in the area of Employment and Defamation Law. She has extensive experience in medical negligence and cases involving defective products.

She has successfully represented clients before the District Court, Circuit Court, High Court, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal and has been involved in a number of high profile personal injuries cases. She is proud to be part of the Litigation Team at Cantillons and is focused, at all times, on achieving the best possible outcome for clients.

Qualifications

  • Joint Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Law and French, University College Cork
  • Masters in Law (Criminal Justice), University College Cork
  • Completed Law Society Professional Practice Courses at Blackhall Place, Dublin
  • Admitted as a Solicitor in Ireland, England and Wales
  • Advanced Diploma in Employment Law, King’s Inns, Dublin
  • Advanced Diploma in Medical Law, King’s Inns, Dublin

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