I have documents from the Office of the Public Guardian in Uk giving myself and my 2 brothers lasting power of Attorney

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Customer: Hi, I have documents from the Office of the Public Guardian in Uk giving myself and my 2 brothers lasting power of Attorney for our mother. The documents were drawn up in 2014 but my mother moved to live with me in New Zealand in 2015. Since this time I have been managing my mothers affairs but I just discovered today that I need EPA created in NZ in order to have full access to my mothers bank account. I have infact been organising payments to the care home where my mother now lives for the last year not realising that I was not authorised to do this for her. My mother is 91 needs assistance with every aspect of life because she no longer moves. Whilst my mother still recognises and responds to me her cognitive functioning is impaired.
JA: Have any guardianship papers been filed in family court?
Customer: No
JA: Do the biological parents consent to the guardianship?
Customer: I am talking about my mother who is 91 years old
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have written a full description of the issue above
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 59 mins 1 year ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read your question
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You will need to apply to the Family Court to be appointed her property and welfare guardian. The UK documents will be helpful in explaining this to the court. The procedure typically takes 5-6 months but
May be less
Customer
Thanks Chris, this is kind of crazy, as it is I am already having to access my mothers account to pay for her care because she is unable to do anything. As I have power of attorney I have been carrying on regardless but would like to be within the law, is there no way of fast tracking this process given the circumstances? I have a letter from the Office of the Public Guardian sent to me at my NZ address in 2014, my mother moved over here in 2015 has a resident's visa. I need to continue paying for her care, how am I supposed to do this if I am unable to access her account?!!
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Are you still able to access her account and is it the fact that that you were told you need to apply rather than lack of access
Customer
Sorry for delay, my work takes me off line all day! ..I am still able to access her account.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If that is the case I would only do something if you want to be cautious. If you have access, that is legal because the UK documents give you that. Technically under New Zealand law you do need to be appointed as her property and welfare guardian but if things are working well you may want to take the risk
Customer
Thanks for this Chris, I think you are saying carry on as normal which I will out of necessity. I guess I will start the process of EPA my mother should consent to this in front of her GP who will then sign the documents on her behalf and this will make the process much easier or so I understand. If she is seen not to be cognisant to what is going on it becomes a much more long winded process. Anyways I appreciate your advice. Thanks and nice to see sun shining in Wellington today!!
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If she has capacity to sign then you can do this with the enduring power of attorney documents, which do need to be witnessed by a lawyer. So there is some paperwork needed and expense, but it is much easier than applying to the Family Court, and can be done fairly quickly

Customer
Thanks Chris, I much appreciate your help with this.
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