Claire and Steve have a 19-year-old son, Pete. He is in his first year of university study in Auckland. Late one night they get a phone call – Pete has been taken to hospital. He is unconscious. It’s not known what has happened to him, but he has been found in the central city with significant head injuries. Steve and Claire rush to the hospital. Over the next week, significant and life-changing decisions need to be made. Luckily, Claire and Steve had arranged for Pete to appoint Claire as his enduring power of attorney before he went to University. Having this in place meant that Claire was able to make many of the decisions that needed to be made about Pete’s care while he was unable to.
Clients often forget that once a child turns 18, they are legally an adult. A parent will no longer have automatic rights to make decisions for and about their child if their child is unable to. One way to address this is to make sure that your children appoint an attorney for property and personal care and welfare matters when they turn 18.
To discuss any aspect of powers of attorney or other estate planning questions, contact Valerie or Rachael on 07 872 0560.