An enduring power of attorney (EPA) is a legal document which sets out who can take care of your personal or financial matters if you can't. That person is called your attorney.
You can set up an enduring power of attorney through a lawyer or trustee corporation. You don’t need to go through the Family Court to set it up but the Family Court gets involved if any issues need to be sorted out.
The Ministry of Social Development has more information about how an enduring power of attorney works and how to get one.
The court can provide advice to an attorney about using their powers, and help sort out any issues with an EPA.
It’s free to ask the Family Court to look into an enduring power of attorney.
Types of EPA application
The court can be asked:
for directions - for example, about accounts to be kept by the attorney, or who will pay the expenses of the attorney
to take some action in respect of an EPA - for example, to decide whether a person is suitable to act as an attorney, or give permission for the attorney to make a Will for the person the EPA is for
to review an attorney’s decision.
Who can apply to the court
An application can be made by:
the person who the attorney acts for
a relative of the person the EPA was made for
an attorney of the person the EPA was made for (but not the same attorney who is acting under the EPA. For example, a person may have appointed more than one person under different EPAs – 1 person to manage their financial affairs and 1 to manage their welfare)