Protect yourself, protect your family

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.

— There are two kinds of EPA:

Establishing an EPA

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.

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— There are two kinds of EPA:

Why do I need an EPA?

When should you revise your EPA?

Who will be able to make important decisions about your affairs if you are unable to?

There may be a need to update your EPAs if your attorneys are no longer appropriate to act for you. It may be that you had appointed a previous partner, or perhaps that person has moved away. If you wish to change who you have appointed as your attorney, you can do this at any time however, you need to tell them in writing that their authority to act has been revoked.

If you do not do this, those attorneys will continue to have full authority to act under the EPA. An EPA can be suspended or revoked at any time – so long as you, as donor are still mentally capable.

Our Recommendation

We recommend you have a successor attorney especially for your personal care and welfare, in the event that your attorney is not available. Your successor attorney will have the same responsibilities as agreed for your attorney.

Having a successor attorney also means you do not have to review your EPA as often. If you have appointed your spouse/partner as your attorney and you are both unfortunately injured in the same accident, a successor attorney can start acting on your behalf immediately.

Make an appointment with one of our experienced estate planning team who will help you understand all the important considerations when establishing your EPAs.

An EPA means that you keep control of who manages your affairs...."
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