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Enduring Power of Attorney : What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

Human being face sickness, aging and death. Dementia can result in loss of ability to judge or decide one's affairs.To plan ahead for the financial, psychological and legal impact of dementia or other forms of mental incapacity, one may think about using an enduring power of attorney (shortly known as "EPA").

The Enduring Powers of Attorney Ordinance (Cap.501 of the Laws of Hong Kong) permits a person's making of an EPA with legal effect surpassing a General Power of Attorney. An EPA allows its donor (the person giving his/her power of attorney to someone), while he/she is still mentally capable, to appoint an attorney to take care of the donor’s financial matters in the event that he/she subsequently becomes mentally incapacitated.

A General Power of Attorney will cease to be effective automatically if one become mentally incapacitated. An EPA will, however, “endure” the donor’s mental incapacity and give the attorney of the power to continue the donor’s financial affairs despite the incapacity.

The laws on enduring powers of attorney are contained largely in the Enduring Powers of Attorney Ordinance(Cap.501 of the Laws of Hong Kong).

Because creating an Enduring Power of Attorney has a serious implications upon its maker (donor), it requires the witnessing of a practising solicitor and a medical doctor. As it is a legal document with serious meaning, a person desiring to make an EPA must consult a practising solicitor experienced in this area of legal practice.