The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has urged farmers to consider the issue of enduring power of attorney ahead of expected changes to legislation next year.

The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 was signed into law on December 30, 2015.

The act will establish a new statutory framework to support decision-making by adults who have difficulty in making decisions without help.

It had been due to commence earlier this year but has been delayed on several occasions.

Amendments proposed to the act in the Seanad were debated by TDs in the Dáil on Wednesday (December 14).

It is expected that the legislation will commence in the first quarter of 2023, but this is subject to the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman.


IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Committee chair Alice Doyle said that farmers of all ages should talk to their solicitor about enduring power of attorney and making a will, if needed.

“An enduring power of attorney allows you to legally appoint someone to look after your affairs if you no longer have the capacity to do so yourself.

“An enduring power of sttorney can act on your behalf and give you peace of mind about the future of your business and legal affairs,” she said.

Doyle explained that the act proposes three types of decision-making support options to respond to the range of support needs that people may have in relation to decision-making capacity.

With each of the three decision-making support options decisions can be made on personal welfare, property and finance or a combination of both.

“Under the new act an enduring power of attorney can only be registered if the individual has lost all decision-making capacity.

“Famers should speak to their solicitor as soon as possible to discuss the options and plan for their future decision making,” Doyle said.