Enduring Power of Attorney – do you need one?

April 30, 2015

in Family & Relationship Property

iStock_000017754761SmallAn Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) gives someone the authority to act legally on your behalf if you become mentally incapable. It is therefore important to arrange an EPA before you become mentally incapable, which could happen to anybody at any time from an event such as illness or an accident.

Having a valid EPA already in place can prevent those who want to care for you from having to obtain a court order, a considerably more expensive and time consuming process than an EPA.

There are two types of EPA which allow your attorney different rights to act on your behalf.

A property EPA gives your attorney the right to manage your financial affairs and deal with your property. Property includes not only land and houses, but all of your assets and liabilities such as businesses, bank accounts, shares and other possessions and debts.  Your attorney can be appointed general authority or this can be limited to specific circumstances or property. You should also consider whether you want your attorney to act while you are mentally capable.

A personal care and welfare EPA gives your attorney the right to make legal decisions in respect to your personal care and welfare in the event of your mental incapacity. Your attorney can make decisions such as whether or not you need to go into care, which hospital you will go to and what sort of medical treatment you will have. Under a personal care and welfare EPA your attorney can only act once you are mentally incapacitated.

The New Zealand Law Society recommends that everyone over 18 or older establish an EPA for both property and personal care and welfare, while they are still mentally capable.

We can assist you with all aspects of planning your estate.

If you require any advice or further information on the matters dealt with in this publication please contact the lawyer at Farry and Co. who normally advises you, or alternatively contact:

Lisa Oakden
09 379 0055 or 03 477 8870


The information contained in this publication is intended as a guide only.  It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, Farry and Co. does not accept liability for any errors it may contain.

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