Enduring Power of Attorney – what it is, why you need one and how to pick the right person for the job

Enduring Power of Attorney – what it is, why you need one and how to pick the right person for the job

An Enduring Power of Attorney – EPA for short – is an important document that all of us should have, but few of us do. Put simply, an EPA is a legal document outlining who will step up to make the decisions about your personal and financial matters. This person, named as your ‘attorney’ is someone you’ll want to choose carefully. And whilst we all like to think we’re invincible, having an EPA isn’t just for older people – you’ll want to make sure you have all bases covered in case of illness or injury.

There are two types of EPAs:

  • Property EPA: this appoints one or more persons to make decisions about your property and finances on your behalf and you can choose when this EPA kicks in. A Trustee organisation like Public Trust can also be appointed to act on your behalf.
  • Welfare/Personal care EPA: this appoints someone to make decisions about your health and lifestyle on your behalf when you have been medically assessed as being unable to make those decisions yourself.

When thinking about who will be up to the task, think about the following:

  • Do they live in NZ? And if not, do they understand the NZ environment?
  • They should ideally be able to make their way to you if needed, and can respond to your matters in a timely manner.
  • Are they comfortable with financial tasks like managing accounts and paying bills?
  • Are they over 20 years of age?
  • Have they been bankrupt? Those who have won’t be able to be your attorney.

What happens if you don’t have an EPA in place?

The Family Court would need to formally appoint someone to act on your behalf, either as your Property Manager or Welfare Guardian, which unfortunately, could delay decisions critical to your property or welfare matters, and could be a heavy emotional and financial burden for your nearest and dearest, should something happen to you.

Creating your EPA in just a few steps:

  1. Create an account
  2. Create your EPA
  3. Print your EPA and it will besigned by you and certified in one of our customer centres
  4. Scan and upload, store somewhere safe or contact the team for further assistance if your prefer us to hang onto it

You’ll have 24/7 access, plus online support 7 days a week and whilst this might be one of the most important things you can do for you and those around you, getting your EPA sorted really is just a few clicks away.

Create your account

If picking up the phone or chatting in person is more your thing, give us a call on 0800 371 471