Lifelaw April Newsletter

Do I need Enduring Powers of Attorney?

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you had a major health event and couldn’t handle your affairs yourself?  It’s scary right.  You should consider getting Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPoA). This document gives others the power to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapable to do so or unavailable to make the decisions yourself.

There are two types of EPoA and we think it’s pretty important to have both.


A property EPoA covers property generally (this is any assets or debts held in your name). You can appoint more than one person to act as your property power of attorney and these people can act jointly or separately. It’s important to note that your property attorney can act for you while you are still capable of doing so yourself and continue when you are mentally incapable. This may be worth considering if you travel often and are not always available to sign documents while you are away.

Personal Care and Welfare:

A personal care and welfare EPoA deals with any matters in relation to your health and well being e.g. where you live and what medication or medical treatment you have. You can only appoint one attorney at a time for your personal care and welfare decisions.  This person can only make decisions on your behalf after you become mentally incapable.

While giving these powers may seem daunting, don’t put it off too long.  If you were to lose the capacity to look after your own affairs, it’s too late to set up an EPoA. The Lifelaw team can help you fully understand the significance of the EPoA, explain the options available to you and guide you through the process.

New hope for first-home buyers and investors

First home buyers rejoice! The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has just made it (slightly) easier for you to get on the property ladder.

On  1 January 2018, the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions on banks were relaxed. This means banks have more freedom to grant loans to people who are considered ‘high LVR’, or those borrowers who have a deposit of less than 20%.  Banks are now allowed to have 15% of their total lending dedicated to these types of borrowers – this was previously limited to 10% of total lending.

There’s also good news if you’re an investor as you won’t need quite as much cash to get your hands on that new rental.  From 1 January 2018, people who are buying an investment property are only considered ‘high LVR’ if they provide a deposit of less than 35%. While this is still a lofty amount, it has been reduced from 40%.

Why the change I hear you ask?  The relaxation is in response to better financial stability throughout New Zealand, especially within the housing market. As a result of these changes, an extra $5.3 billion could potentially be made available to borrowers. The Reserve Bank is keeping a beady eye on what happens with these new relaxed restrictions, and may consider relaxing them even further in April 2018.

If you are looking to get on the property ladder or bolster your portfolio, get in touch with the Lifelaw team and we can help get you sorted.

Lifelaw team

If you have any queries in respect of the above, or any other Lifelaw issues, please contact a member of our Team:

Lifelaw team: Stephen Jeffery, Monica Ryan, Gerard Thwaites, Chris Anderson, Giana Fyfe, Sarah Bennett, Lily Cain, Rosemary Aitken, Sherie Adams, Cindy Thom, Vanessa Boyd, Lisa Penn.

In this edition:


When life decisions are everything.

lifelaw team

Stephen Jeffery - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamStephen Jeffery

t +64 3 353 8050
m +64 21 669 925
(click to email)

Monica Ryan - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamMonica Ryan

t +64 3 372 6335
m +64 21 665 286
(click to email)

Gerard Thwaites - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamGerard Thwaites

t +64 3 353 8025
m +64 29 233 3447
(click to email)

Chris Anderson - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamChris Anderson
Senior Associate

t +64 3 371 7690
m +64 21 65 6672
(click to email)

Giana Fyfe - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamGiana Fyfe

t +64 3 372 6385
(click to email)


Sarah Bennett - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamSarah Bennett

t +64 3 372 6385
(click to email)


Lily Cain
Law Clerk

t +64 3 372 6396
(click to email)


Rosemary Aitken

t +64 3 379 3720
m +64 21 223 6327
(click to email)

Sherie Adams
Property Law Executive

t +64 3 371 7699
(click to email)


Cindy Thom
Registered Legal Executive

t +64 3 372 6304
(click to email)


Vanessa Boyd
Registered Legal Executive

t +64 3 372 6336
(click to email)


Lisa Penn
Trust & Estate Accountant

t +64 3 371 7697
(click to email)

Disclaimer: The content of these articles are general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.