of Attorney (EPA)
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) can ensure that someone you trust will look after the things that matter.
You never know what to expect in life. You may need to travel overseas at short notice, have a serious accident, suffer an illness such as a stroke or Alzheimer’s disease, or want someone else to look after your affairs as you get older.
What is an EPA?
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a legal document appointing an attorney to act on your behalf if you cannot or do not wish to. Unlike a Will, an EPA operates while you are alive.
Setting up an EPA will give you peace of mind that your assets and personal welfare will be properly managed on a temporary or permanent basis by someone you trust, if you become unable to do so.
There are two types of EPAs: one for property, and the other personal care and welfare. You can decide to have either one or both.
A property EPA allows you to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs. A personal care and welfare allows you to appoint someone to make decisions about your personal health and well-being in the event you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.
Everyone over 18 years of age should sign an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Why should you have an EPA?
If you don’t have an EPA and an important decision must be made or document signed, your family or friends must apply to the Family Court (under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988) so they can help you and legally manage your affairs. This can be costly and time-consuming and the Court may appoint someone that you would not choose.
That’s why NOW is the best time to provide for maximum and ongoing control over your assets and welfare. Many people prepare an EPA when they complete or review their Will.
Both types of EPA can be prepared by Perpetual Guardian. However, whilst we can be appointed as a property attorney, only a private individual can be appointed as a personal care and welfare attorney. We suggest you nominate someone you trust implicitly, such as a friend or relative, to act in this capacity.
How to set up an EPA
An EPA is generally prepared at the same time as your Will.
Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge in the field and will ensure you gain the best possible advice when instructing your EPA.
Before setting up an EPA you should consider:
- Who you wish to appoint as your attorney for Property.
- Who you wish to appoint as your attorney for Personal Care and Welfare.
- What assets need to be taken care of, e.g. your property, any debts, or money owed to you.
- Whether there are certain people that you wish to provide assistance to your attorneys, such as family members or an accountant, before making decisions.
- Whether you want your attorney to report back to family members, by giving them annual accounts, for example.
- Whether you wish to appoint a replacement Personal Care & Welfare attorney in case the individual you appoint is not able to continue at some stage.
Why choose the Perpetual Guardian team as your property manager?
The Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 recognises the special role of trustee companies, such as Perpetual Guardian, to manage assets for people.
Your Perpetual Guardian team:
- Has the experience and skills to act as a property attorney;
- Offers continuity (unlike an individual, we will not die, become ill or be absent from New Zealand when needed);
- Acts impartially and independently;
- Will work closely with other appointed attorneys;
- Can be your property attorney as well as the trustee and executor of your estate, making effective decisions on your behalf with full appreciation of your wishes as expressed in your Will; and
- Will ensure the legal requirements for an EPA are met.
- an EPA case study
What does it cost?
Preparing your EPA starts at $150.
We say ‘start’ because, fees are proportionate to the complexity and amount of work involved. To make sure you’re comfortable with the process, and before we draft anything, we provide you with a full estimate of costs as part of the consultations.
Your local branch team can give you a full breakdown of all the potential costs. Get in touch with us for more information.