News & Views
Dec 11

Enduring powers of attorney

Enduring Powers of Attorney
Mental incapacity can happen to anyone of any age at any time, through disease, accident or ageing. You should be able to choose who will look after your affairs in such an unfortunate event. An ordinary Power of Attorney has no effect once mental capacity is lost.

Most people hope that they won’t lose their mental capacity but what will happen if they do? Who will look after your personal affairs, property and other assets if you are unable to do so yourself?

The simple answer is no-one – at least not immediately.

Friends and relatives may apply to the Court to be appointed as your Manager, but this will take considerable time, money and effort and you may end up with a manager you didn’t want!

The simple solution to this problem is to execute an Enduring Power of Attorney before you need it.

An Enduring Power of Attorney enables you to appoint someone to manage your property or to take care of your personal welfare should you ever become mentally incapable.

The appointments can be in relation to your property or welfare generally or only in relation to specific property or matters.

Advantages of Enduring Powers of Attorney

  • You choose the person you wish to look after your affairs.
  • Avoids potential arguments that may otherwise arise between family members.
  • Avoids the need for court appointed managers which can be more costly and time consuming.
  • You can specify who is to be consulted about decisions or who is to receive information about decisions made which affect you.

Who can you appoint as your Attorney?

  • Any person who is at least 20 years of age, not bankrupt and not subject to a property or personal order themselves.
  • Perhaps a family member, trusted friend or a professional person (solicitor or accountant)
  • A Trustee Company (such as Public Trust) can be appointed as an attorney in relation to property but not personal care and welfare.

There are a number of different options that your Enduring Powers of Attorney can contain.

We will be able to discuss these options with you, and advise on the implications of each option.

There is more information available about Enduring Powers of Attorney at:

Superseniors.msd.govt.nz; or

lawsociety.org.nz/news-and-communications/guides-to-the-law/powers-of-attorney

Act Now
Making an Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to choose your own attorney – someone you can trust and rely on to carry out your wishes.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is flexible and can be adapted to suit your needs but it must be in place before you need it, so act now and discuss these documents with us.

What the future holds can never be fully predicted but making prudent arrangements in regard to your welfare and future decision making is within your power.

Planning for your future gives peace of mind.

Avoid unnecessary headaches; contact the law firm that has legal expertise, experience and offers value-for-money service.

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