On 16 March 2017 changes to the Protection of Personal Property Rights Act 1988 come into effect. Some of these changes affect how Enduring Powers of Attorney ("EPOA") are made, and others affect how they operate. If you have any unsigned EPOAs drafted and they are not fully executed by this date, they will be invalid and will need re-drafting. EPOAs fully executed prior to 16 March 2017 remain valid. Please urgently contact us if you wish to finalise documents prior to 16 March 2017.
An EPOA is a legal document which sets out who can take care of your personal or financial matters if you cannot. That person is called your attorney. We strongly recommend that all adults have EPOAs in place. Life does not always go to plan. Anyone, regardless of age, can have an accident or be hospitalised with a serious illness. Should that occur it is important that someone is ensuring you are being properly cared for, and is ensuring your bills are paid. If you are incapacitated for some reason and have not signed an EPOA, this can create difficulties for you and your loved ones at what is already a stressful time. Your partner, family and friends do not have an automatic right to make decisions for you. In order to make decisions for you others would need to apply for Orders from the Family Court. This can take time, is far more costly than EPOAs, and the Judge will not necessarily know who you rely on or who you would trust to have such a role.
The changes will make EPOAs easier than ever to have prepared and executed. If you have been hesitant previously to make EPOAs due to time or cost, now is a great time to reconsider.
We are able to assist with any questions you may have regarding Enduring Powers of Attorney. Please contact us on (09) 415 4477 or (09) 377 9966 to discuss further.
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© McVeagh Fleming 2017
This article is published for general information purposes only. Legal content in this article is necessarily of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require specific legal advice in respect of any legal issue, you should always engage a lawyer to provide that advice.