The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Act 2022 is due to commence early this year, with the President having signed it into law in December 2022. The Act amends sections of the much-discussed Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015.
Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Act 2022
In particular, the process for Enduring Powers of Attorney will see a new framework being introduced with the Wards of Court system as it stands being abolished.
The Act will encompass a number of different provisions for the creation of other instruments such as Advanced Healthcare Directives and applications to the Circuit Court are provided for too.
Until the Act is commenced however, the position as is regarding Enduring Powers of Attorney and more importantly Wardships remains. Having an Enduring Power of Attorney allows a person to pre-appoint an Attorney to manage their affairs in the event that they lose the capacity to do so themselves.
In the absence of an Enduring Power of Attorney being in place, there may be no option other than to make an application to have a person made a Ward of Court. This is a slow and cumbersome process and even when the Wardship is in place, the mechanisms that exist are at best challenging to navigate.
Delays in accessing funds and essential care for incapacitated individuals is all too common as banks generally are unable to allow third parties to access an incapacitated persons bank account. This naturally leads to a very stressful time for family members and in many instances, friends and family of the incapacitated persons will fund their care until funds can be accessed which can take years or in some cases only after the incapacitated person has passed away.
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