Enduring power of attorney recommended for all adults

24 October 2014

Everyone aged 18 years or older should establish an enduring power of attorney for both their property and their welfare, according to a New Zealand Law Society guide.

The Powers of Attorney guide recommends that any adult of any age who has not established an enduring power of attorney should do it now while they are still mentally capable.

"People tend to think only the elderly are likely to need someone to manage their affairs but anyone can become mentally incapable at any age," the Guide says. 

"An accident may leave you with brain damage, a stroke can leave you mentally and physically disabled, conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or senile dementia can strike people at relatively young ages. So, just as we should all have a current will, it is advisable for all of us to set up an enduring power of attorney - just in case."

The plain English guide provides detailed information on the different types of powers of attorney - General and Enduring Property and Enduring Personal Care and Welfare - the types of people who can be appointed attorneys, and other matters such as checking on the exercise of powers by attorneys, the duration of an enduring power of attorney, and what happens on death. 

The Powers of Attorney guide is one of the titles in the Law Society's long-established Guides to the Law series and may be downloaded free of charge from the Law Society's website.

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