A power of attorney is an authority you give to another person to look after your affairs.

There are two types of power of attorney:

  • An ordinary power of attorney; and
  • An enduring power of attorney.

Ordinary Power of Attorney

An ordinary power of attorney relates only to property matters and is valid only if you have the capacity to deal with the matters yourself had you been present at the time.  Therefore this power will cease if you become mentally incapable.  This kind of power of attorney will usually be given, if for example, you are planning a trip overseas.

Enduring Power of Attorney

An enduring power of attorney in relation to property has the option if you choose it, that it  will continue to be valid if you become mentally incapable.  Therefore if you lose capacity your attorney will be able to continue to manage your affairs.  People who are concerned about who will look after their affairs if they become unable to do so, will grant an enduring power of attorney to the person they wish to appoint.

An enduring power of attorney in relation to personal care and welfare covers decisions relating to your health and well being.

A power of attorney that covers your personal care and welfare only comes into effect after you have become mentally incapable.  A power of attorney that covers your property may come into effect immediately.

Powers of attorney are important documents and you need to be sure you realise their effects.

If you would like more information please in the first instance contact Erin at our firm or email her at egibson@willislegal.co.nz

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