Personal Service and Registration of EPAs

20 March 2020

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Just a quick note on a new practice direction (18th of March) that has been issued by the President of the High Court in relation to registration of EPAs (HC87). There is no longer a requirement to personally serve the Form 1 on the Donor. This is a great relief in relation to what was a serious blocker (in the current situation) for progressing registrations of EPAs. This is particularly so, in respect of potential Donors residing in nursing homes where access is (for the moment – in a lot of cases) completely restricted. In any event clearly given the social distancing requirements personal service on an Donor lacking capacity residing at home is also ill advised at this stage. The question remains though is whether a doctor can certify the lack of capacity and how will that be done? For Donors who are well known to the GP that may not be a problem. But in fairness to our medical colleagues, many of the them wish to attend on their patients personally so they have a contemporaneous note, or out of reasons of good practice, caution or at least professional indemnity reasons (particularly where they are conscious that EPAs are a court matter). The practice direction may only get us so far. I attach a link to the practice direction.