Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPOAs) allow you to appoint someone to manage and make decisions about your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.

There are two types of EPOAs; one in relation to property and the other in relation to personal care and welfare.  It is generally recommended that you put both in place, so that your affairs are well taken care of.

EPOAs are an important thing to consider making, or updating, at the time you purchase and/or sell a property.

The law relating to Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPOAs) has recently been updated, and new plain language EPOA forms came into effect from 16 March 2017, replacing all previous versions.

Importantly, any EPOAs which have been prepared but not signed by all parties (the Donor and all the Attorneys and Successor Attorneys) prior to 16 March 2017 will now be invalid.  New EPOAs will need to be made on the new forms.  If this applies to you, you should see your lawyer or legal advisor for more information.

Any EPOAs made and signed by all parties prior to 16 March 2017 remain valid and in place; it is only those that are not yet signed that are affected.

In order for the EPOAs to become legally valid, you will need to obtain legal advice about the nature and effect of the documents before signing, and your lawyer or legal advisor must complete a witnessing and certification section.  If this part is not completed, the EPOAs will not be legally valid.

As with any legal documents, it is best to see your lawyer or legal advisor, who can assist you with making EPOAs that best suit your situation.

Lindsey Mills
Senior Legal Executive
Wellington