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 [email protected]
In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.