Q&A with Elaine Corcoran

Elaine Corcoran is a Solicitor working in Ringsend, and a mum to two boys and lives locally. She is here to answer readers’ questions and to give some guidance on current legal trends/developments. Elaine can be contacted on 01 5617900 or by email: elaine@corcoransolicitors.com

Dear Elaine

I am recently widowed and coming to terms with living on my own and managing my own affairs. I have found the past few months difficult but I am in good health. My daughter has suggested that I create an Enduring Power of Attorney and make her my attorney should I become unwell. What are the benefits and risks of a Power of Attorney?

Hi Patricia,

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is an extremely useful yet powerful document that requires careful consideration. It is estimated that there are over 55,000 people in Ireland suffering with dementia and 4,000 of these are under the age of 65. The EPA gives a solution to the management of the assets and affairs of the Donor, should they become mentally incapacitated. Most importantly, it allows the Donor to choose who they would like to look after their affairs. Unlike a general power of attorney, an EPA does not come into effect until registration which is triggered by the Donor’s mental incapacity. An EPA is more user friendly than making a person a ward of court and empowers the Donor to select the person(s) to manage their affairs should they become mentally incapacitated. The Donor can choose to limit the powers afforded to the attorney, your solicitor will explain and discuss the scope of the authority with you. Without an EPA, those close to you, who know you best, have no authority to make decisions for you. The Donor can only create an EPA when they have capacity so if you think it is something you want, it is important to put it in place before the ‘horse has bolted’. Whether an EPA is a good option for you is an entirely personal decision which requires careful consideration. Speak to your solicitor to understand more.

Please email any questions that you have for Elaine to newsfour@gmail.com