The court & enduring power of attorney (EPA)

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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.

Ministry of Social Development website (external link)

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 attorney
  • 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)
  • a social worker
  • a medical practitioner or doctor
  • a trustee corporation
  • the principal manager of a place providing hospital care, rest home care or residential disability care to the person the EPA was made for
  • a welfare guardian appointed for the person
  • a person authorised by a body or organisation contracted by the government to provide elder abuse and neglect prevention services
  • a person who has the court’s permission to make the application.

You may want to talk to a lawyer. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you may be able to get:

Forms to apply for an EPA review

You’ll need to give the Family Court both of these forms:

Information sheet to accompany applications under PPPR Act - PPPR14 [PDF, 90 KB] - include a copy of the EPA.

General affidavit [PDF, 38 KB]

You’ll also need to give the Family Court 1 of these forms:

Application by attorney for directions – PPPR23 [PDF, 19 KB]

or

Application for exercise of court's jurisdiction in respect of an EPA – PPPR24 [PDF, 20 KB]

or

Application for review of attorney's decision – PPPR25 [PDF, 18 KB]

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