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Queensland welcomes New Zealand EPOA’s

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As some of you may know, generally speaking, in Queensland we recognise Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPOA) made in other Australian States and Territories as valid in Queensland.

Now, in a move that will further reduce the legal estrangement between us and New Zealand, from 30 November 2020, for the first time, Queensland will recognise EPOA’s made in New Zealand.

In New Zealand, there are two forms of EPOA’s you can make:

  1. An EPOA for ‘property and finance’ decisions; and/or
  2. An EPOA for ‘personal care and welfare’ decisions.

In Queensland, you can make an EPOA using the one form in which you can appoint an attorney to make financial and/or personal and health care decisions.

Regardless of the differences in the forms, so long as the New Zealand EPOA complies with the law of New Zealand, that EPOA will be recognised here in Queensland.

Queensland law, though, will apply to all attorneys so that attorneys appointed under New Zealand EPOA’s will share the same rights, powers, duties and obligations of their Queensland counterparts.

The few expats who become aware of this change to the law (and who have some idea of what an EPOA is) could heave a sigh of relief. It should mean they can simply rely on an EPOA made in New Zealand without the bother of making another one here in Queensland.

The trans-Tasman excitement, however, may be tempered by some practical realities. After all, how will an Aussie bank teller, nurse, GP, or other person on the front line dealing with attorneys and EPOAs be able to tell if the New Zealand EPOA complies with the New Zealand requirements for a valid EPOA? Will they even know about this change to the law?

For the savvy among you, if you have a New Zealand EPOA, if you move to Queensland, you can still make a new one here in Queensland. The bottom line is, it may be more convenient to simply make a new EPOA here in Queensland.

But here’s a question – for those of you looking to move to New Zealand, does New Zealand recognise a Queensland EPOA?  Regrettably, the answer is no.

If Jacinda Ardern reads this – “Jacinda, please place the Queensland EPOA on the agenda for your next Cabinet meeting, thank you.”

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