30 Mar, 2023

Putting an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in place is just as important as making a Will

Our Head of HR & Legal, Lorraine Donoghue, is advising farm businesses on the importance of having an Enduring Power of Attorney.

Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Act 2022

On the 26th April, the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Act 2022 will commence.  The Act will see the abolition of wardship, the operationalisation of the Decision Support Service (DSS) and the introduction of a new system of tiered decision-making supports.

The legislation sets out how vulnerable adults will be supported in making decisions about their affairs by recognising that different levels of assistance can be required when making decisions.

One of the guiding principles of the Act is the presumption of capacity. Every adult is presumed to have capacity unless the contrary is shown in accordance with the Act. This ensures that every case is treated individually and that certain cohorts of people are not automatically deemed to lack capacity.

One area that will be significantly reformed by the Act is how Enduring Powers of Attorney are executed and the legal basis for Advance Healthcare Directives (AHD).

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

An Enduring Power of Attorney allows a person to appoint someone that he/she trusts to act as an attorney. The attorney’s role is to act on the behalf of the person and to make certain decisions if the person should lose capacity in the future.

An Advance Healthcare Directive (AHD) can also be executed, which sets out the instructions of the person in relation to their healthcare treatments in the future

Speaking about the legislation, Lorraine said "Having an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in place is just as important as making a Will. It will provide peace of mind for the future of your farm business. The first step is getting the right advice. To enquire about an EPA, you should contact your solicitor.”

To speak to a succession planning specialist, you can contact your local ifac office.