Enduring Power of Attorney Lawyer
Attorneys at our firm have undergone specific training and were certified by the Ministry of Justice to draw up EPAs (Enduring Power of Attorney). The attorneys are registered in the Administrator General’s designated database. Our lawyers will guide you through the process, and provide full legal consultancy relevant to your specific circumstances.
What is an EPA (Enduring Power of Attorney)?
In April 2017, Amendment 18 to the “Legal Qualifications and Guardianship Law” entered into force. This amendment actually changed everything we knew about guardianships, from the need to appoint one through the guardian’s vested powers which may lessen in the long term.
This amendment is viewed by some as revolutionary, mainly when it comes to issues relating to persons with various impairments. The amendment’s socio-legal basis positions the individual’s right to dignity in her or his final and often most difficult part of life as the highest priority, and recognizes that individual’s right to independently reach an informed planned decision concerning what should happen to her or him, and who can make decisions in her or his stead, when the individual is no longer able to do so.
The major innovation of this amendment, and its accompanying term “Enduring Power of Attorney,” (EPA) is the concept that there is no need to wait for the stage where a person reaches a situation whereby, he needs a guardian, and no longer has any control over whom to appoint and the manner in which the guardianship will be conducted. Rather, we all have the right to freely choose, while we are still fully capable of doing so, who will handle our affairs when we no longer can. Therefore, the lawyer qualified to draw up the EPA sets precise instructions, based on your wishes, regarding the circumstances in which the EPA will enter into force, as well as regarding the nature and type of actions that the proxy will be able to perform on your behalf.
This is indeed a social revolution, one which not only asserts a person’s dignity and independence, but grants these rights by law. The Ministry of Justice defines the Enduring Power of Attorney as “a legal document that allows any adult to determine how and by whom her or his affairs will be handled in the future when she or he is no longer able to handle them her- or himself, provided that the said adult understands the meaning, purposes and consequences of the Enduring Power of Attorney.”
Enduring Power of Attorney – FAQ
In our opinion, the term ‘power of attorney’ is somewhat misleading since it does not fully express the document’s tremendous importance and validity. In fact, this is one of the most important legal documents a person will sign in their lifetimes, as it determines the conditions under which a person ceases to be responsible for their own affairs, and is entitled to have a third-party care for her or his health, affairs and property. To that effect, it is vital contact a qualified EPA lawyer, who will assist in preparing it.
So, for instance, a person can decide in advance via an EPA not only who will be her or his appointed guardian, but also under which circumstances such person will be appointed, what will be their powers both regarding their assets and medical affairs (such as the need for hospitalization and receiving various medical treatments other than those predefined in the “Dying Patient Act.”)
The law also stipulates additional mechanisms which can assist individuals with various disabilities. The most important of them is the appointment of “a decision supporter” who, in fact, constitutes an alternative to appointing a guardian in cases whereby the person is not legally incapable but nonetheless requires assistance in making legal decisions.
Like the EPA, the Application to Appoint a Decision Supporter must be lodged with the Administrator General’s offices using the designated form. The appointer must be an adult residing in Israel who understands the EPA’s significance, purposes and outcomes. The appointee must be capable of managing the appointer’s affairs, and obviously has to the appointee’s trusted officer. It is vital in this matter to emphasize the need for the person’s free and voluntary will and choice to appoint a proxy. In addition, the proxy must grant their consent to be appointed and to act according to its instructions.
Several appointees can be designated simultaneously. It is also possible to designate different appointees for different specific purposes. In addition, the law differentiates between a proxy for matters relating to property (which are not medically-related) and a proxy for personal matters (which include medical issues but do not cover property matters).
The section on the form dealing with “Preliminary Instructions” is of the utmost importance, since it details the conditions under which the EPA enters into effect at some future date, and also when it expires. Thus, for example, a specific medical event can be a determining parameter: psychiatric hospitalization, for example, might be chosen as the condition activating the EPA. The EPA enters into force only when the appointer is no longer capable of understanding and making decisions in part or in full on those matters covered by the EPA.
Instructions can also be detailed concerning how the appointer wishes the appointee to carry out the task when the EPA goes into force: i.e., general guidelines for the appointee’s actions concerning the appointer’s body and belongings. In any event, the appointee must act in good faith and dignity towards the appointer, and try to uphold the appointer’s wishes, independence and rights.
Enduring Power of Attorney Lawyer
Since these forms cannot be completed by a person on their own, it is required to obtain the assistance of a lawyer who has received special qualifications from the Ministry of Justice to draw up the EPA. The main reason for this requirement is the Ministry of Justice’s wish to ensure the appointer’s safety, and ensure that the appointer did indeed provide written instructions and has not been coerced into any decision.
The EPA is a complex document impacting a person’s quality of life, determining the way medical and nursing care will be handled, and how the appointer’s property, bank account, pension and so on will be dealt with. We therefore recommend choosing a lawyer with solid experience in this specific field of law.
Our firm will provide you with customized service and attention together with professional counsel at all times and for any issue you wish to raise.