Have you ever considered making a will or enduring powers of attorney? As our nation nears the end of day one of our alert level 4 lockdown due to Covid-19, many of us will have some unexpected spare time on our hands.
Why not use the opportunity to get some of your personal paperwork in order to give you peace of mind? Here at Morrison Kent, we can handle the entire process remotely for you.
What are enduring powers of attorney?
Enduring powers of attorney are documents which set out who you would like to step into your shoes and run your life if you are unable for some reason to do so. A common perception is that enduring powers of attorney are only for the elderly to cater for a situation where they become confused or forgetful, or are unable to leave their homes, but this is far from the case.
Enduring powers of attorney are like an insurance policy for anyone at any age, and they cover any situation where you become what the law describes as “mentally incapable”. Mentally incapable includes a situation where you lose your reasoning to such an extent that you cannot understand decisions that need to be made or a situation where you might be perfectly capable of understanding, but in a comma, for example.
There are two types of an enduring power of attorney (and you should typically make both); property and personal care. Property deals with all your assets and personal care deals with your medical decisions and welfare decisions such as where you live and how you are cared for.
For personal care, the document can only come into effect when you reach that threshold of mentally incapable.
For property, however, you can choose an option that allows the document to come into effect immediately which can come in very handy in a situation, for example, where you are overseas without the ability to sign remotely or if you were mentally fine but physically found it difficult to go out and sign things. That early ability for your attorney to sign things on your behalf might even serve a lot of people at the moment if they are unable to sign things because, for example, they do not have access to the technology needed, but their children who are their attorneys do.
The enduring powers of attorney cease to have any effect when the person who has granted them dies.
What is a will?
A will is a document that only starts to work once you have died.
It does a number of main things:
- Appoints someone to deal with everything for you after you have died (your executor); and
- States your wishes for things such as your funeral or whether you would like to be buried/cremated;
- Appoints testamentary guardians for your children (these are not necessarily the day to day carers for children, but they do have a say in all major decisions in the child’s life); and
- States who receives your assets.
Like with wills, people assume that they are only for elderly people or that if they have few assets, there is no need for one. Again, this is not the case. Even if your assets are a negative number (and many people forget they have KiwiSaver investments), having a will saves your family time and paperwork at what is already a difficult time.
For More Information:
We are all working remotely at Morrison Kent, and we have the ability to make completely remote wills and enduring powers of attorney for you. We make the process as swift and efficient as possible.
If you are tempted to use your spare time to get some personal paperwork out of the way that you otherwise might not get around to doing, contact our trust and estate specialists on 04 472 0020 or send us an email, and we will be happy to help.
It can be very reassuring to know that your personal affairs will be in order for hopefully many years to come.