Are you considering applying to be appointed as Welfare Guardian for someone?
Contact PPPR Application experts today to get specialist advice on how to make your application a success.
14 November, 2022 | Carolyn Ranson
Requirements for appointment include that the proposed welfare guardian must be over the age of 20 and must be an individual (i.e. cannot be a company, trustee or any organisation). A welfare guardian does not need to live in New Zealand, though it is preferred.
The proposed welfare guardian must file an application requesting appointment, and must satisfy the Family Court that:
When making and carrying out decisions, a welfare guardian must:
Act in the best interest of the subject person;
In contrast to a property manager, welfare guardians are not required to file any documents with the Court during their appointment.
If a welfare guardian acts in bad faith or without reasonable care, or enters into any type of arrangement or contract withholding the knowledge that they are in fact a welfare guardian acting for someone else and that they are acting in their capacity, the may be held personally liable for those actions.
Once an application is filed with the Court, it will appoint a lawyer for subject person (“L4SP”) will be appointed to represent the interests of the subject person and speak to the Court on their behalf. Following their appointment, the L4SP will usually meet and speak with the subject person (where possible) and provide the Court with a report on their assessment of them, including whether the orders sought are appropriate, if there is any further medical evidence required, etc.
All interested parties (e.g. family members, a care facility where the subject person stays, or anyone the subject person lives with) must be notified of the application as it is filed. The Court arranges service of the application on the interested parties (with some exceptions) if consents have not already been provided by those parties as part of the application.
If an interested party does not think the proposed welfare guardian is suitable for the role, they may oppose the application for appointment.
The Court makes the final decision regarding appointment, on the terms it considers fair.
The duration of appointment is up to the Court to decide, though usually an initial appointment as welfare guardian is for 3 years from the date the Court’s order is made.
When an initial appointment is nearing expiry of its term, a welfare guardian can apply for review and re-appointment. Re-appointment as welfare guardian may be for a term of up to 5 years.
Welfare guardians are not entitled to payment for their services. However, reasonably incurred expenses (such as legal fees or medical expenses incurred on behalf of the subject person) are payable from the subject person’s funds.
You need to obtain a medical assessment for the person whom you wish to apply to be appointed the welfare guardian of. The medical assessment should address whether they have capacity (or not) to make their own decisions and communicate the same. A doctor or GP should have experience in this and know what is required.
If the doctor or GP determines the person has capacity, then they can instruct a lawyer to prepare Enduring Powers of Attorney.
If the assessment determines they do not have capacity (partially or wholly), you will need to make an application under the PPPR Act to be appointed welfare guardian.
Are you considering applying to be appointed as Welfare Guardian for someone? Our experts in PPPR Applications understand all the Court’s requirements for your application. Contact Carolyn Ranson today on 09 837 6890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment.
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