1. nrr

    nrr Registered User

    Apr 17, 2007
    8
    London
    As stated alsewhere I'm going to try and get my Mum to sign an EPA this coming week.

    She has few friends left alive and I'm envisaging a problem of getting someone to sign as witness. Would her social worker, or one of the carers who come in to see her each day, be appropriate, or would there be ethical issues involved there?

    Nigel
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,556
    Kent
    Hi Nigel, Does the form give any guidelines for witnessing.

    I personally feel a neighbour might be more appropriate than a carer or social worker, but if I am wrong, someone will be sure to put me right.

    The reason I say a neighbour, is one was asked to witness my neighbours Will.
     
  3. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    619
    Male
    Ronda Spain
    #3 Michael E, Apr 28, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2007
    The witness is only witnessing the signature. They are not witnessing the contents of the document... It really does not matter who it is that witnesses the signature at all. Can be a social worker or the dustman. I think with an EPA document they should believe that the person who is signing it is aware of what the 'doner' is signing. Believing is fine - they do not have to have any medical knowledge or legal experience at all..
    Michael
     
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    I think you'll find that the social worker will decline: I suspect that this is an area they are told to avoid. You might have better luck with the carers.
     
  5. nrr

    nrr Registered User

    Apr 17, 2007
    8
    London
    yes, that was my feeling as well. Hopefully one of the carers will be able to sign
     
  6. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Yes as Michael says anyone can witness a signature on an EPA or a Will for that matter, as they are merely acting as a witness to the signature, not to the contents of the EPA/Will, or necessarily to the mental capacity of the person executing EPA/Will.

    When people are signing wills in hospital, nurses are not allowed by the Health Authority to act as a witness, as with their medical knowledge their signature could be interpreted as confirmation that the person is of testamentary capacity. Admin staff were sometimes OK to sign but there seems to be more reluctance from the hospital to allow them to do so.

    The new LPA's will require someone to confirm that the Donor had the metal capacity to sign. The proposed list of competent people to give this certificate includes doctors, solicitors....shop keepers:confused: (no offence meant to any shop keepers but not sure where the government is going with this one)

    If anyone is concerned that their mental capacity to sign an EPA/Will may be questioned in the future, it is worth asking the GP to examine them and prepare a short report.

    My grandmother's testamentary capacity was (briefly) questioned by relatives who discovered that they had been excluded from the Will. My mum was able to confirm that on the afternoon she signed the will, before the Solicitor came to the house, my grandmother and I were playing Snakes and Ladders together and we were BOTH cheating. I was 10 and she was 75...:D

    Sue
     

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