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There are two attorney roles: one attorney looks after your care and welfare, while the other looks after your property.
The ideal attorney is someone you really trust, someone who will keep your best interests at heart.
Take, for example, the recent case where a Taranaki man’s daughter stole the entire contents of his bank account – more than $320,000 – leaving him with just $20 next to his name.
While this is at the extreme end of the scale, it highlights the vulnerability of those who rely on others to manage their affairs, including having access to your bank accounts.
Therefore, think carefully before appointing someone based on a perceived moral obligation to do so – it may be to your detriment if that person is not right for the job.
If you have the same attorney for both roles, it is important that this person is trustworthy and will put your needs first as they will have complete control of your affairs.
If you have different attorneys for each role, they must be able to work together and again, they must both be trustworthy and prepared to put your needs first.
If you are uncomfortable with your existing attorneys or have doubts as to their trustworthiness or ability to work together, you can appoint a different attorney without your current attorney becoming aware of the change.
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