A woman set up a new enduring power of attorney (EPOA), to appoint her daughter as her attorney. Unfortunately, she failed to notify her first appointed attorney from a previous EPOA – an old friend.

Years later the woman lost the capacity to manage her own affairs. Her friend, the first appointed attorney, then tried to act under the first EPOA by attempting to access the woman’s accounts to pay some bills. 

The daughter was contacted by the bank, and it led to much confusion and stress for the daughter who thought the friend may have had bad intentions, which was not the case. 

Revoking an enduring power of attorney when you set up a new one is an important step to ensure everyone knows where they stand.

New Zealand law provides for a variety of instances in which an enduring power of attorney may be revoked.  Most commonly:

  1. This can be by the donor (the one who is giving away the power) giving notice in writing to the attorney revoking the power.  This can only be done while the person has capacity/is mentally capable of doing so; or
  2. Alternatively, notice can be given  by sending a copy of the new EPOA to your previous attorney(s). 

Some people may not want their previous attorney to know who they are now appointing as attorney, for example in a relationship break up or a falling out between friends or family members, in which case they are likely to choose option 1 above.

When setting up a new EPOA it is vital to make sure you notify your previous attorney. Your legal advisor will be able to assist you through this process.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.