How administering property works

An Order to Administer Property means a person is appointed to look after someone else’s property and financial affairs.

If a person’s income or benefit is worth more than $20,000 a year or the property to be managed is worth more than $5000, you’ll need instead to ask the court to appoint a property manager

Who might need an Order to Administer Property

The person the Order is for must either:

  • be completely or partly unable to understand what the decision is about or to understand what could happen as a result of a decision about their property, or
  • have these abilities but be totally unable to make decisions or say what they want about how their property is managed.

The court can only make an Order to Administer Property for people who usually live in New Zealand and are 18 years old or older. Personal Orders for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds can be made if they are, or have been, married or in a civil union or de facto relationship.

The court can’t make an Order to Administer Property if a property manager has already been appointed. Only 1 person can administer property.

The court will not make an Order for a person who has granted someone an enduring power of attorney (EPA) unless it’s not working to protect their best interests or it does not cover a specific decision that’s needed.

Apply for an Order to Administer Property

You can apply if you’re:

  • a person who can’t fully make decisions about their own care
  • a relative or attorney of the person who can’t fully make decisions about their own care
  • a social worker employed under the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 (external link)
  • a medical practitioner or doctor
  • a representative of any non-profit group that provides services and facilities for the welfare of the people covered by the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (external link)
  • the superintendent, licensee, supervisor or person in charge, if the person is a patient or a resident of a hospital, rest home or residential disability care facility
  • any other person with the court's permission.

People who can administer property

The person you propose to administer property must agree to the appointment.

People who can’t be appointed to administer property are:

  • anyone under the age of 20 years
  • the superintendent, licensee, supervisor or other person in charge of a hospital, home or other institution where the person lives.

If you’re not sure whether an Order is right for your circumstances, talk to a lawyer. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you may be able to get:

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