Assisted Decision Capacity Act

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The Assisted Decision Capacity Act is now Law.  Unfortunately the commencement date has not yet been indicated, however, it is presumed to occur towards the latter part of Spring.  The Act is an important piece of Law and recognises that there can be different levels of capacity.   Therefore, a person may have capacity to make a decision in terms of certain mattes, but not others.  This is very much a legal recognition as to the medical position as to exactly what capacity means.  The new Law gives persons a right to have a say in their future treatment and advanced Healthcare Directives can be signed setting out exactly what healthcare treatments the patient may wish. Under the new Law it will be possible to create an Enduring Power of Attorney and that Enduring Power of Attorney must be registered with the Director of Decisions Support Services no later than three months after the Power of Attorney has been signed.  It is significant to know that once the Power of Attorney is registered it cannot be revoked by the Donor unless the Donor applies to Court.  Therefore, it is crucial that the identity of the Attorney(s) is carefully chosen by the Donor and a lot of time should be given by the Donor as to who exactly would be the Attorney(s).  It is possible for a person to regain capacity and that is also provided for under the new Law.  The Irish Farmers Association has highlighted the fact that not enough people create an Enduring Powers of Attorney.  This can present problems clearly in respect of the running of any business, but in particular a farm.  If you have any queries please contact partner Finola Cronin by email