Enduring Power of Attorney

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The Enduring Power of Attorney Legislation has been in force for quite sometime. This allows people who currently enjoy good mental health to create an Enduring Power of Attorney should they ever lack mental capacity and require someone to make decisions on their behalf. Generally it is best that two Attorneys are appointed and the full protections granted to a person creating an Enduring Power of Attorney are complied with. The Oireachtas also passed the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity Act). This establishes a modern statutory framework to support decision making by adults who have difficulty in making decisions without help. This new legislation recognises that mental capacity can fluctuate in certain circumstances. The Act provides three different types of decision making support options. Briefly they are as follows:-
(1)a person may appoint a decision making assistant, generally, a family member or carer
(2)co-decision making. A person can appoint a trusted family member or friend as a co-decision maker
(3)decision making representative. The Circuit Court can appoint a decision making representative who would make decisions on behalf of the person concerned. The above clearly indicates the importance of all persons thinking about potential issues that could arise in the event that they lose their capacity to make decisions or indeed partially lose their capacity to make decisions. The Act also makes provision for advanced healthcare directives. Again a person should indicate their will and preference and provide e.g. their G.P. with important information as to treatment choices. These are all important decisions that a person who has good mental health should consider at this point in time. The failure to do so will lead to legal problems and social and personal issues. If you have any query in respect of the above please contact Finola Cronin at fcronin@dobbynmccoy.com or telephone (051) 874087.