Enduring Power of Attorney
Life can be fragile and you never know when the ability to make your own decisions could be taken from you through sickness or injury.
Having an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) means you can have peace of mind that you have decided, ahead of time, who you trust to make decisions for you if you can’t decide for yourself.
What is a Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document that can protect you and what is precious to you.
There are two types of EPAs:
- Property – covers your money and assets and can come into effect before you lose mental capacity. You may have more than one attorney for this EPA.
- Personal care and welfare – covers your health, accommodation and associated care decisions, and comes into effect only if a medical professional or the Family Court decides you have become ‘mentally incapable’. You may have only one attorney for this EPA.
An EPA means only the people you trust – your ‘attorney/s’ – can make decisions about your life and/or your treasured possessions, such as your house, money and belongings.
What does an attorney do?
Once an EPA comes into effect – either at your request (for a property EPA) or when a medical professional considers you mentally incapable (for a property or a personal care and welfare EPA) – your attorney (or attorneys) can make most decisions about your care and welfare, your property and finances.
Your attorney (or attorneys’) main responsibility is to act in your best interests, and they must involve you in decisions as much as you are able.
Who can be an attorney?
Your attorney can be anyone you trust to understand and respect your wishes and feelings. Usually they are a friend or family member, a colleague, or even a trustee corporation like the Public Trust (for property EPAs only).
They must, however, be over 20 years of age, not bankrupt and not mentally incapable themselves.
You may choose the same person for both EPAs. While you may have only one attorney for your personal care and welfare EPA, you may have more than one for your property EPA as you might want people with different skills to look after specific areas.
How do I get an EPA?
When you’ve decided who you’d like as your attorney and what you want them to do, you need to arrange a lawyer, a qualified legal executive or a representative of a trustee corporation (like Public Trust) to be your witness. They will make sure you understand all your options, what the EPA document means, and that it meets all legal requirements.
Options of local Lawyers in Gore are:
Prices are similar between Lawyers but also depend if you are doing anything else at the same appointment such as updating wills, or other legal matters.
Costs for both Property and Personnel Care and Welfare EPA
Around $250 + Gst for an Individual
Around $500 + Gst for a couple
There also maybe an extra cost if further lawyers need to be involved in the sign off
|AWS Legal||(03) 203 9550||11 Bowler Avenue, Gore|
|Bannerman Cruickshank Pryde Lawyers||(03) 209 0183||5 Fairfield Street, Gore|
|Sheddan Pritchard Law Limited||(03) 209 0030||8 Mersey Street, Gore|
|Smith, Wood & Woods||(03) 208 9184||Westpac building Mersey Street Gore||They will come to your home locally or make other arrangements if you cannot access their office upstairs|
Public Trust is a national company that can also help with EPA 0800 371 471
You can do your EPA online $129 inc GST, or mirror EPA for you and your partner $229
Or in Person $289 in GST
What should I prepare when setting up an EPA?
There are standard forms you must fill out to set up an EPA. You can download them below.
Before you see your legal advisor, think about:
- Who you want your attorney/s to be and what you do and don’t want them to do on your behalf.
- How your attorney/s might be supported – could you name other people, such as family/whānau, friends, an accountant or solicitor, to be consulted or provide your attorney with advice?
- Making a list of the main things you own, any money owed to you, and any debts.
- Who else could you give a copy of the EPA to – your doctor, your bank, family members?
- When you want your property EPA to come into effect – a date, a period in time, or when you are determined ‘mentally incapable’.
- How your attorney/s might be monitored, such as by appointing a second person to oversee your financial records, get copies of bank statements, or be informed of certain decisions. Remember, you can also appoint a second attorney for your property EPA, which may help with monitoring.
- Whether you want to appoint other people to step in as attorneys if something happens to your first choice.
For more information check out the Super Seniors website