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HOW TO MAKE AN ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY DURING LOCKDOWN

COVID TIMES

LOOKING AFTER NO. 1

More people are dying in nursing homes than in hospitals during this coronavirus pandemic. It paints a picture that is not necessarily a true one – of pain and misery inside the isolated corridors of virus clustered so-called sanctuaries for the weak and aged. These places haunt the imagination of Ireland’s ageing. Many see them as a dumping ground for unwanted generations.

As someone who has been visiting nursing homes for over 40 years in a professional capacity I can assure you that they have transformed themselves from what they used to be. They are now clean, bright, happy places where the quality of life for older people is enhanced beyond their previous existence at home.

The critical difference between life in a long term caring facility and life alone at home is the family dimension. It is therefore strange to me that so many among us, who face retirement, neglect to provide for the ultimate decisions. Where shall I die and who will be the judge?

If the ability to make those decisions, personally, fails you due to dementia, alzheimers or stroke you can put a family member in charge by making an enduring power of attorney (EPA). Not to do so, on the basis that “it won’t happen to me”, is a gamble. Without an EPA in place, a person who has lost mental capacity becomes a candidate for wardship. In that case the High Court will entrust the elderly patient to the care, not of the family, but, more likely, the HSE.

HOW TO MAKE AN ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY DURING LOCKDOWN

Contact me at jmk@pals.ie or 0862540634.

We will prepare a file and send you out a preparatory letter.

I will set up a Zoom chat or phone call, preferably including your intended attorneys (allow one hour). I will explain how it works and if you know what you want you may give me all the details from the comfort of your living room. Within that hour I will have an 18 page document printed and prepared for signing with your all important decisions recorded.

There are 3 alternate methods of signing:

  1. Home. When you are happy I will ask you to print on good quality paper. You may then sign the EPA as indicated in the appropriate places before an independent witness (not the attorneys who must also sign). I will then ask you to post the original pages back here where we will then proceed with the process of serving notices and obtain the doctor’s certificate. We will copy you with the final booklet in due course.
  1. Office. You will drive to Adelaide Street where I will meet you while you remain in your car. I will pass the documents through the window and you sign on the dashboard. I will witness by signing on the bonnet
  2. Garden. I can call to you.

Fee payment will be by card or cheque. The cost is €900 incl vat for a single and €1300 for a pair (husband and wife).

JUSTIN MCKENNA

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