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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23053
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I have a couple of questions. My dad has terminal cancer and

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Hi I have a couple of questions. My dad has terminal cancer and we have today talked about a living will and EPA over personal care & Welfare.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Question 1 does a living will have to be done by a lawyer? Question 2 If he has a living will does he also require EPA?
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Sorry, I am in New Zealand, is this not a NZ website?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No I think that is it, thank you.


I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington. I will be helping you with your questions today

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Chris. Thank you

You should definately organisean EPOA now while your father still has the capacity to understand this. This will cover any situation and directions about treatment which he may want. You would not normally need a living will if he gives clear directions to the person appointed as his attorney. The EPA does however need to be witnessed by a lawyer which is a requirement under the legislation, so you should contact a lawyer to get this underway

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
i was aware of the EPA needing to be done by lawyer but does the living will need to be and would he need the EPA as well. He is now house bound.

You dont need a living will with the EPA but you should make sure he hasa will for his estate to be distributed as the EPA ceases as the time of death

The living will is something referred to in countries where there isnt legisation about the EPA for property and for health and welfare. Its not commonly used in New Zealand therefore as we have adequate legisaltion

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
he has a will. Does a living will need to be done by a lawyer?

A living will isnt needed if you have the EPA

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
My late husband had both a living will and an EPA.

You need to ask what is the purpose of the living will. Why do you want to organise one? They dont have any legal force in New Zealand

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
in dad's case mum would be his voice when the time came along with living will rather than EPA.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
in response to your last comment lawyers who are charging for living will are ripping us off
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
how would we oeganise an EPA did we can't get dad to a lawyer?

The law says that the person appointed as the EPA makes the decisions about welfare. A living will can only be a guide rather than giving any legal powers. The legislation about the EPAs is relatively recent as in the first version being 1988. In my view living wills have not been necessary since then

Lawyers are usually happy to visit someone too ill to travel to their office

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok thanks for your help.

If you advise the suburb/city and dont have a lawyer I could make some suggestions

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Mum and dad live in Dinsdale hamilton and have little money so paying for a lawyer to come out is not going to happen. They are proud people and won't let us pay. Hence my question regarding living will. We are looking at the most cost effective way to ensure that dads wishes are taken care when he no longer can voice them.

The only legally effective way is the EPA. You could ask at the local community law centre if they will help.

If you are concerned about treatment issues, then usually his wife will be consulted as will the family. An EPA is what the hospitals often ask for though as sometimes members of a family may not agree, and the EPA is definitive

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks for your help. We all know what dad wants. Will contact community law.

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