b. What happens between the commencement and completion of the registration?
The registration of the EPA may take time. If, as stipulated by section 4(3) of the Enduring Powers of Attorney Ordinance (Cap.501 of the Laws of Hong Kong), an attorney is not allowed to deal with the donor’s assets unless or until the completion of the registration process, who can take care of those assets when the donor may have already lost his/her capability to take care of the same? Section 4(5) provides an answer to this question:
“where the attorney has applied for registration of the instrument, he may, pending such registration, act under the enduring power-
(a) to maintain the donor or prevent loss to his estate;
(b) to maintain himself or other persons in so far as section 8(3)(b) permits him to do so.”
As discussed above, a donor can procure the registration of the EPA when he/she is still mental capable. Such “early” registration will have the further benefit of eliminating the suspension period under section 4(3), so that the attorney can start administering the donor’s assets soon after the donor’s mental incapacity without having to take time to register the EPA and then having to wait for the completion of its registration.