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What Is An Enduring Power Of Attorney (EPA)?
Who will be able to make important decisions about your affairs if you are unable to?

Protecting yourself also helps to protect your family; appointing an attorney under an EPA may be just as important as your will. An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a power of attorney created under a New Zealand Act of Parliament. Unlike standard power of attorney, an EPA will remain legally effective should you later lose your capacity.

 

Two Types of EPAS

There are two kinds of EPAs:

 

An EPA specific to your property

Your attorney will be responsible for managing any transaction that involves your property including finances. This may include all household expenses and maintenance, engaging services and tradespeople, perhaps buying or selling property, overseeing relocation, paying bills and so on. The attorney that you have appointed can act for you under the EPA at any time. We can however, act as your property attorney either alone or jointly with others

 

An EPA in relation to your personal care and welfare

Your attorney will be responsible for, making decisions about your personal matters. This can include your medical care or deciding which rest home you are placed in. This EPA only comes into force when you are deemed unable to make these decisions for yourself. This type of EPA can only be held by a person and we can help you to decide who the best person is.

 

While you cannot appoint Trustees Executors as your attorney for personal care and welfare, we can still help you with advice on choosing an appropriate person.

We can however, act as your property attorney either alone or jointly with others.

 

Why do I need an EPA?

Did you know that not even a spouse can automatically act on your behalf for assets in your own name if they are not legally appointed?  You also cannot act for your children once they are over 18.

If you lose mental capacity without an EPA, dealing with your matters can become increasingly difficult adding emotional and financial stress to your loved ones. If nobody has the legal authority to act for you or sign documents, your closest loved ones would need to apply to the Family Court to be appointed as your manager – even dealing with the simplest of things may not be as easy as you had envisaged. This can often be time consuming and cause delays in dealing with matters, adding additional costs. As often specialists such as doctors and lawyers are asked to write reports and you may also incur court fees. The court may also appoint someone who you would never have chosen. An EPA means that you keep control of who manages your affairs.