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New Enduring Powers of Attorney process

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Senior Citizens

26 September 2008 Media Statement

New Enduring Powers of Attorney process


Minister for Senior Citizens, Ruth Dyson today announced the new processes for the setting up and operation of Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs).

"These changes make it safer for people to appoint someone to act for them in personal or property matters if they lose capacity," said Ms Dyson.

"For some years there had been concerns expressed by the Law Commission and organisations working with older people, that the law governing EPAs did not afford adequate protection.

"The changes enable people to be much more specific about how they want their affairs managed under an EPA. The new process also improves the administrative arrangements for activating EPAs and provides better opportunities for redress, should the EPA be misused, said Ms Dyson.

EPAs already activated or prepared but not yet activated, will remain valid and do not need to change. The law changes will apply to these EPAs with the exception of the new witnessing requirements and, for activated EPAs only, the new gifting provisions.

"With more people living into later old age it is even more important that people plan for the possibility that they might lose capacity. An EPA is like an insurance policy against a possible eventuality that becomes more real the older you get, said Ms Dyson.

"These changes reduce the chances of EPAs being misused and are a strong protection against financial abuse," said Ms Dyson.

Further information on the changes can be found on the website of the Office for Senior Citizens at www.osc.govt.nz, from your lawyer or Public Trust Office, or other trustee corporation.


ENDS

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