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Enduring Power of Attorney - why you need to put them in place

These documents are often associated with ‘old’ people, who are losing their mental capacity.  And yes, we agree, having Enduring Powers of Attorney in place are very important at that stage of life.

However, we recommend that all of our clients put the two Enduring Powers of Attorney in place from the start of their financial planning process, as you never know what might happen.

I am working with a specific example right now, a 50 year old very active woman (skier, golfer) had a severe headache and within two days was in a coma, medically ventilated and intubated in critical condition in intensive care in hospital.  She had contracted Guillan-Barre disease, which meant full body paralysis. 

Fortunately, she had put in place an Enduring Power of Attorney for property and one for her Personal Care & Welfare as part of her financial planning, which has made assisting her family with her insurance claims far easier.

We find it frustrating when clients head off to a lawyer who then informs them that they don’t need these documents. 

We can think of many circumstances when they would be applicable, not the least of which, if they are designed in a particular way, they can provide someone with powers to act on your behalf if you are on an extended overseas trip.

This interesting article in the NZ Herald highlights how important EPA's are- here is an extract...

'What people often don't realise, says Reuvecamp, is that when you have impaired capacity, the law in New Zealand doesn't allow your family, whānau or next of kin to make decisions for you, unless they have legal status – that is, you have appointed them to be your Enduring Power of Attorney (an EPOA) for personal care and welfare or property, or the court appointed equivalent, a welfare guardian or property manager.'

The videos below tell you more about Enduring Powers of Attorney and why you will need one.  

You can use the forms on the following website (http://www.superseniors.msd.govt.nz/finance-planning/enduring-power-of-attorney/index.html) to prepare your own EPA's (or go to a lawyer).  However, the witness to the document has to be an authorised witness, otherwise the document won't be valid.  These witnesses need to be a lawyer, legal executive with specific requirements, or an authorised person from a trustee corporation.


We have added the videos prepared by MSD below as follows (scroll down to see them)

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney and how does it work?

Can a younger person get an Enduring Power of Attorney?

What happens if you don't have an EPA in place and you need one?

What triggers an EPA to come into effect?


What is an Enduring Power of Attorney and how does it work?

Can a younger person get an Enduring Power of Attorney?

What happens if you don't have an EPA in place and you need one?

What triggers an Enduring Power of Attorney to come into effect?



 

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