Did you know?

Did you know: Avoid stress and frustration with Enduring Powers of Attorney

We ask Matt Sale, Retail General Manager at Public Trust to explain Enduring Powers of Attorney, who should have them and why they’re important. Public Trust is New Zealand’s oldest and most experienced trustee services organisation, specialising in estate planning and management.

Imagine one of your parents, your partner or a family member was unable to look after themselves anymore because of early-stage dementia or a brain injury. It’s horrible to think about.

But now imagine the stress and frustration if you couldn’t complete even simple tasks on their behalf, such as paying the bills or cancelling the Sky subscription.

Unfortunately, this is a reality for many people.

Without Powers of Attorney, organisations often won’t be able to give you information or let you change any existing arrangements for someone else due to the Privacy Act.

And even if you and your partner have joint bank accounts, you may still struggle to sell your shared home or change your home loan terms without Powers of Attorney.

So, what are Enduring Powers of Attorney?

Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) are legal documents that allow you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions about your life if you can’t. This person is then said to have Powers of Attorney.

There are two types of EPA:

  • Personal care and welfare EPA where you appoint someone to make decisions about personal matters, like where you live, and your healthcare treatment;
  • Property EPA where you appoint a person, or an organisation like Public Trust, to manage financial and property decisions. Their responsibilities can include paying bills, managing bank accounts, and buying or selling assets.

Completing these EPA documents is just as important as writing a will – and form an essential part of your estate plan.

EPAs are for everyone.

Some people think that EPAs are something you get when you get to a certain age or stage in life, but this isn’t the case. EPAs are important for every adult, regardless of their age – you need to prepare now.

Getting EPAs is easy. 

If you’re not sure where to start, Public Trust can help get you sorted. For more information about what EPAs mean for you, or if you want to sort out EPAs for you and your family, give them a call on 0800 371 471 or visit www.publictrust.co.nz to make an appointment online.

The information published in this article is provided by Public Trust and is not financial advice. At Fidelity Life, we try hard to make the information we publish accurate and helpful to you, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy and we aren’t liable for any action you take as a result.