Enduring Power of Attorney
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that will enable you to nominate a person known as an Attorney to manage your financial affairs on your behalf. It will continue should you become mentally incapable, subject to certain conditions.
An Enduring Power of Attorney can be made at any time, provided that you are over 18 and mentally capable of appreciating the significance of making the Enduring Power of Attorney and its implications. It must be made in the exact form prescribed by the legislation, and we would therefore recommend that you consult a solicitor if you wish to draw up an Enduring Power of Attorney. You will need to consider who you wish to appoint as an Attorney, or Attorneys, to act on your behalf. An Attorney should be over 18 and not bankrupt. There is no requirement for the Attorney to live in Northern Ireland, however it may be impractical for them to deal with your affairs if they live some distance away.
Yes, you can decide whether you wish to grant your Attorney general power to act on your behalf, or you can grant them the power to deal only with specific items that are set out in the enduring Power of Attorney. You may also impose restrictions and conditions on them. If you change your mind you can cancel or revoke the Enduring Power of Attorney at any time, so long as you remain mentally capable.
The Attorney will not be permitted to continue to act under the Enduring Power of Attorney if they believe that you are, or are becoming, mentally incapable. If this is the case they are required to register the Enduring Power of Attorney with the High Court, and until this has been done their powers will be very limited.
The application to register the Enduring Power of Attorney is made in a prescribed form which is available from your solicitor, or from the High Court’s website. As part of this process, the Attorney is required to give notice of their intention to register to both you and other close relatives. This allows the opportunity for anybody to object to registration if they feel it is appropriate.
Following registration, the Attorney can continue to act on your behalf in relation to your financial affairs. The Court has the power to supervise the Attorney’s actions if they believe this is necessary, and it is therefore always advisable for the Attorney to keep accounts to produce if necessary.