Notice of intention to register

Notice of intention to register

Contents

This article will tell you how to give notice of intention to register an EPA which was created in Northern Ireland.

Notification

Before an EPA will be registered with the Office of Care and Protection (OCP), notice must be given to all those who require notice under the Enduring Powers of Attorney (Northern Ireland) Order 1987. To give notice, you need to use 'Form EP1 – Notice of intention to register an EPA (Northern Ireland'.

How must notice be given?

Notice must be given personally to the donor (the person who made the power of attorney), while relatives must be given notice by first class post. You must keep a note of the date you post the notice out (known as the date of service) for when you register the document. It is best to send all the notices by post on the same day as the OCP will hold the registration for 4 weeks from the date the last person was served to allow for any objections to be sent.

Who must be notified?

You must notify a minimum of three relatives in the order of priority set out in Schedule 1 Part 1 of the Enduring Powers of Attorney (Northern Ireland) Order 1987. This order is as follows:

  • The donor's spouse or civil partner
  • The donor's children
  • The donor's parents
  • The donor's brothers and sisters of whole and half blood
  • The widow/widower or surviving civil partner of a child of the donor
  • The donor's grandchildren
  • The children of the donor's brothers and sisters of whole blood
  • The children of the donor's brothers and sisters of half blood
  • The donor's uncles and aunts of whole blood
  • The children of the donor's uncles and aunts of whole blood

If there is more than one relative to be notified in one of the groups above, you must notify all of them. So, if, for example, the donor does not have a spouse (therefore a spouse can't be notified) but has five children, then all five children must be notified using Form EP1. Note that you shouldn't notify any relatives who are under 18 or who suffer from mental incapacity themselves.

We recommend you send this notice by first-class post.

Less than 3 relatives need to be notified

Where there are less than 3 relatives alive who fall within the classes set out in the list prescribed by Schedule 1 Part 1 of the Enduring Powers of Attorney (Northern Ireland) Order 1987, you only have to notify as many relatives as are alive. If this is the case you need to state this fact in your application for registration.

For example, if the donor is only survived by their spouse and a single parent, then only their spouse and parent need to be notified; resulting in a total of 2 relatives who need notification.

Also, if the registering attorney falls into a class of relatives that need to be notified, they don't have to notify themselves although they still count as one of the 3 people notified. For example, if the registering attorney is the only child of the donor, who only has a spouse and one parent still alive, the attorney only needs to send 2 notifications.

If in this last example the registering attorney is the donor's only child and the donor has no other relatives, nobody will need to be notified. In all cases where nobody has been notified the Office of Care and Protection will first make enquiries before registering the EPA.

More than 3 relatives need to be notified

If one person in a particular category must be notified, then all persons in that category must be notified and that could result in more than 3 people in total to notify. This exception applies where:

  • There is more than one relative in a particular class, for example, the donor's children
  • There are less than 3 relatives in the classes preceding that class in the prescribed order

So, for example, if the donor has a spouse, 1 child, 10 siblings and their parents are dead, then all 10 siblings must be notified; giving a total of 12 relatives in all who must be notified.

Relatives who are not entitled to notification

There are some situations where relatives, who ordinarily would be entitled, are not entitled to be notified. This applies when:

  • The attorney is unable, after reasonable efforts, to obtain the address of the relative listed
  • Relatives are not yet 18 years of age
  • Relatives are not mentally capable

If this is the case, the attorney needs to notify the Office of Care and Protection of the inability to give notice so that this fact is properly recorded and taken into account.

In addition, there may be certain situations where an attorney does not want to notify a relative. If this is the case, you will have to apply to the Office of Care and Protection using Form EP3 which you can get from the Office of Care and Protection. The Court is most reluctant to deprive relatives of their legal entitlement to notice unless there are exceptional circumstances or if it is satisfied that serving notice would be undesirable, impracticable or serve no useful purpose.

What if notifying the donor will cause problems?

In addition to the donor's relatives, you must give notice to the donor as well using the Form EP1 notice, which must be delivered by hand. Although this will be done in the majority of cases, there may be instances where it will be inappropriate to give notice to the donor because it will cause too much distress. If this is the case, an application should be made to the Court using Form EP3 before you apply to register. The Court will then consider whether to dispense with notice. You can't dispense with notice to the donor unless the Court agrees.

Notice to attorneys

If there is more than one attorney listed in the EPA, then whether or not they will need to apply to register together depends on how they were appointed to act in the original EPA. When there is more than one attorney appointed to act, they would have been appointed to act either jointly or jointly and severally. If they were appointed to act jointly, then they must all apply to register the EPA together. If they were appointed jointly and severally, then it would be possible for one of the attorneys to register without a co-attorney or co-attorneys.

If one or more attorneys intend to register an EPA without all of the other attorneys, then the attorney registering the EPA must give notice to any co-attorney using Form EP1. We recommend this be sent by first class post.