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Enduring Power of Attorney’ and your property

Enduring Power of Attorney’ and your property

Mabel had owned and lived in her home for many years, since her husband passed away. Over time she had slowly started showing signs of dementia, doing things like forgetting to lock the door or turn stove elements off. Mabel’s children decided it would be a good idea for Mabel to move in with one of them and for her house to be sold. They went to a lawyer to discuss selling the property. They were surprised to find that because of Mabel’s lack of mental capacity, she couldn’t sign an Agreement to sell the property. Her children thought they could sign on her behalf automatically, which is not the case. What Mabel (with the help of her family if needed) should have done was arrange an Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPOA”) in relation to Property for her while Mabel was still mentally capable of doing so. Without this, the only way that the children could be appointed to act on her behalf is through the process of applying to the Court to be appointed her Property Manager or Welfare Guardian, which is time-consuming and much more expensive than preparing an EPOA.EPOA’s enable you to appoint someone to handle your affairs if you are unable (or unavailable) to do so yourself. There are 2 types, one in relation to Property and one in relation to Personal Care and Welfare (medical matters). It really does pay to put these in place before it’s too late … to avoid a situation like Mabel’s family found themselves in.
Claire Tyler (nee Coe) Rainey Collins Lawyers www.raineycollins.co.nz and follow us on Twitter @RaineyCollins

PROTECT YOUR HOME WITH A GOOD MAINTENANCE PLAN

Most New Zealanders’ homes are their biggest investments, so it’s important to protect them.
Good maintenance will:

• help keep your home safe and secure

• help keep your home safe and secure

• keep you and your family healthy

• save you money by allowing you to fix problems before they get bigger

• protect your financial investment.

Many modern homes are described as ‘low maintenance’, but this does not mean ‘no maintenance’. There is no such thing as a maintenance-free house. Practical, easy· to-follow information about home maintenance is available at www.consumerbuild. org.nz – a website jointly owned by the Consumers’ Institute and the Department of Building and Housing.

WHAT IS HOME MAINTENANCE?
Home maintenance includes everything from regular cleaning to repairs and replacements. It can be a job as small as changing a washer to stop a tap dripping, or as large as repainting the whole house.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH MAINTENA NCE?
Whether you’re living in your home or renting it to tenants, there are four main approaches to maintenance.

• Carry out regular preventive maintenance, such as cleaning gutters, to prevent some problems from occurring.

• Carry out regular preventive maintenance, such as cleaning gutters, to prevent some problems from occurring.

• Carry out repairs as needed, preventing small problems becoming big ones.

• Plan ahead for major maintenance tasks, such as repainting or reroofing, so you have the money and time available when the work is needed.

• Be prepared for emergencies – know where and how the water, gas and power supplies turn off, and if you have tenants make sure they know too.

DIY OR PROFESSIONAL?
You may be able to do basic maintenance and repairs, like painting or replacing a broken window, but you need to be realistic about your limits. It is better to hire a tradesperson and get the job done properly the first time around than to make costly mistakes. By law, some jobs need to be done by a professional, such as gas, plumbing, drainage and some electrical work.
From November 2010, certain building work will need to be supervised or carried out by a licensed building practitioner. If you’re doing your own maintenance work, make sure you take the necessary safety precautions.
Source: http://wwwdbh.govt.nz

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