Planning a long trip? Overseas perhaps? Want to have peace of mind about your affairs at home and abroad while you are away? If so, there are a few matters you should check out before you go.
- Do you have Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) in place?
- Have you updated your will?
- If you are a trustee of a trust have you made provisions to let someone act in your place?
- Have you arranged comprehensive insurance cover regarding your travel
- Do you have versatile and secure means of paying for things as you travel?
These may seem obvious questions but as a Trustee Company with over 135 years’ experience helping New Zealanders manage their wealth and affairs, we have seen many problems that could have been avoided with a little knowledge and action in advance.
We are specialists in arranging EPAs, wills, agencies, trusts and managing property and other investments. So we thought a few tips arising from our experience might be useful.
EPAs are documents whereby you grant the authority to another person(s) to act on your behalf if you are ever unable to. This can be extremely useful if you are out of the country, or otherwise indisposed and need something actioned.
There are two types of EPA. One grants authority to act with respect to your property. This includes bank accounts, financial assets, real estate and other types of physical assets. While it’s possible to manage many financial issues from afar over the internet there are still many occasions when it would be to your advantage to have someone at home who is able to help you out.
The second type grants authority to act in matters of personal care and welfare. Whether abroad or at home it is equally important to have someone who can make decisions about your medical care if you are unable to – especially if mental incapacity arises.
EPAs are important and powerful legal documents. It is essential you take advice in their preparation and Trustees Executors can help you with this.
Even if you do have them prepared, when did you review them last? Is your attorney still appropriate? Where are they kept and does your attorney know where they are?
Arrange to delegate your duties as a trustee
Many trustees do not realise there are only a few situations where they can delegate their duties as a trustee to someone else. EPAs do not apply to trusteeships.
There are four circumstances when a trustee may delegate his or her duties to an attorney under the Trustee Act, namely when the trustee:
- Is for the time being out of New Zealand or is about to depart from New Zealand; or
- Expects that he or she may be absent from New Zealand from time to time during the administration of the trust; or
- Is, or may be about to become, temporarily incapable by reason of physical infirmity, of performing all his or her duties as a trustee; or
- Expects that he or she may be from time to time temporarily incapable by reason of physical infirmity of performing all his or her duties as a trustee.
Preparation of powers of attorney to address these situations also requires specialist knowledge. Certain certificates may need to be prepared as well. Special circumstances also exist if you are a trustee for an estate.
In all cases where there might be a need to delegate duties as a trustee you need to take advice from a suitably experienced legal practitioner.
Review your will
It’s a good idea to have a read of your will every 3-5 years to ensure it will still provide the outcomes you want. Take the opportunity to do this in the weeks before you set off. It’s unlikely that something may happen to you on holiday but we know the worst can sometimes happen.
Get good travel insurance
Risk is something we are always thinking about at Trustees Executors. There are a few risks to travelling that could end up being expensive to remedy. You might fall ill during or before your travels requiring expensive treatment or urgent medical repatriation. You might lose credit cards or other valuables, for example.
Insurance is a good tool to avoid potential large monetary loss from an adverse event so buying a good travel insurance policy is a good way of protecting your wealth and giving you some further peace of mind. Remember, you often get what you pay for so it’s worth investing in a policy with the best features.
Plan how you will pay for things
You want to be able to pay safely and avoid loss of money while you are away. Do some research and get advice on the best ways to deal with, and keep safe, your foreign currency via cash, debit cards, credit cards and travellers cheques.
If you would like to know more about any of the estate planning matters raised above, or would like us to help in any way please get in touch with one of our Private Wealth experts today.
Please call 0800 878 783 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope your travels are enjoyable and trouble free!