HOMS Assist are members of Solicitors for the Elderly Ireland, which is a focus group within the legal profession concerned with improving the availability and delivery of specialist legal advice tailored to older and vulnerable people, their families and carers. Our approach is sympathetic, attentive and patient.
Make a Living Will
The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 regulates Advance Healthcare Directives in Ireland. These allow an adult with capacity (sound mind) to make a legally binding statement called an Advance Healthcare Directive, or Living Will, and refuse any form of treatment, including life-sustaining treatment.
An enduring power of attorney is a written legal document that allows a person (the donor) to choose someone to act on their behalf in the future in the event that they become mentally incapacitated. An enduring power of attorney only operates when the person is incapable of making their own decisions and has been registered. The document will lie dormant until that point in the future. Up until then they are free to make all their own decisions.
Lasting Power of Attorney
You can use power of attorney to appoint a third party to act on your behalf if you are away, abroad, or incapacitated through illness. An enduring or lasting power of attorney is a legal means for you to appoint a particular person (usually a close family member) to make decisions on your behalf if you were to lose your mental capacity in the future. These decisions could relate to:
- Your finances
- Your business,
- Your health and welfare
- Your medical care and treatment
- Issues that may arise if you have to move into a care home
Attorneyship Support Package
Being appointed attorney for somebody else can be a daunting prospect. You are required to act on behalf of the donor (person who appoints you attorney) and ensure their estate and welfare is protected for the future. Your solicitor can provide an Attorneyship Support package if you're acting as someone's attorney. This package will help you to understand your role and walk you through your responsibilities.
If somebody lacks the mental capacity to make a will themselves, a statutory will is made on their behalf. This can apply in cases of progressive illness such as dementia or if the individual has suffered a brain injury.
The person must be shown to have no understanding of the principles behind making a will and be unable to make a will by themselves. An application for a statutory will is then made to the Court of Protection.
If the person in question had made a lasting power of attorney, the person they appointed as attorney can make a submission to the Court of Protection to have a statutory will drawn up and approved. Otherwise, the Court of Protection appoints a family member, friend, or solicitor to act as a deputy on their behalf.