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When to register an enduring power of attorney

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This article explains how to register an enduring power of attorney (EPA) which was created in Northern Ireland. If you are looking to register an EPA which was created in England or Wales, you should read our article on registering EPAs in England & Wales (Enduring power of attorney) instead.

Register an enduring power of attorney

In Northern Ireland, EPAs are registered with the Office of Care and Protection. Only the attorneys can register the enduring power of attorney and must do so as soon as they believe that the donor is beginning to lose or has already lost mental capacity.

To register the EPA, attorneys should use 'Form EP2 - Application to register an EPA (Northern Ireland).' There is a fee payable for making this application of approximately £120 and you should check with the Office of Care and Protection to obtain the current fee. If the attorney cannot afford to pay the fee, then they should notify the Office of Care and Protection who will consider a postponement of the fee or possibly decide to waive the fee altogether.

Before registration can proceed

Before registration can proceed, the attorneys must give notice to all those who require notice (Notice of intention to register), using Form EP1 - Notice of intention to register an EPA (Northern Ireland). You must serve this notice on near and certain relatives of the donor before sending the completed application form to the Office of Care and Protection.

When does the EPA comes into effect?

Attorneys can begin acting on behalf of the donor with the donor's consent in financial matters as soon as the document is signed and witnessed, i.e. on a general capacity, unless the EPA specifies otherwise. In some cases, donors will stipulate in the EPA that they do not want the power to be used until after it is registered, i.e. essentially making the EPA wholly 'enduring'. During the period before the EPA is registered, the donor is free to revoke their EPA. After the document is registered, however, they can no longer revoke the document without the approval of the Office of Care and Protection.

After you submit your application

After an application is submitted to register an EPA, the Court will wait for a period of 35 days from the date when the last notice was served using EP1. This will give all those who are notified of the application an opportunity to object to registration. If there are no objections to the registration, the Court will notify the attorney when the EPA is registered and will return the EPA to the attorneys.

If there are any objections, a copy of the objections will be sent to the attorney. If at all possible, the attorney and the person objecting should try to sort the matter out between themselves. However, if this is not possible, then the Court will set a date to make a decision on the matter.

Contacts

The Office of Care and Protection

Royal Courts of Justice

Chichester Street

Belfast

BT1 3FJ

Tel: (028) 90235111