The law relating to Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPOAs) has recently been updated.

One of the key changes is that new plain language EPOA forms came into effect from 16 March 2017, replacing all previous versions.

The new forms are intended to be more user-friendly, including the use of plain English, explanatory notes and additional sections to insert further instructions.

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.

The new forms are available online through the Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Justice websites from 16 March 2017 onwards.  People wishing to make EPOAs can download and complete the forms themselves.  You can find out more on the MSD website here.

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.

Louisa Gommans
Senior Solicitor
Wellington