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Navigating the complexities of EPAs: A client story

Feb 19, 2023

I wanted to share a story of a recent client experience that I handled over the Christmas 2022/23 period. It was a complex matter that involved not one, but two Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) documents, and it had a few big bumps in the road that could have cost my clients dearly.

The beginning

The story begins with a couple who had appointed each other as EPAs, they also appointed their daughters as substitute attorneys if circumstances arose that they would need to step in and sign. I received the EPAs, they hadn’t yet been lodged with Landgate, they were dated more than three(3) months ago which means a supporting statutory declaration needed to be completed by them to say that the EPA hadn’t been revoked or no other party was given overriding power to sign on behalf of them. Unfortunately, one client went blind and the other has dementia, which means they couldn’t sign the statutory declarations. As they had appointed their daughters as backups to sign on the document, I started my research to see how I could help them. I did extensive research to make sure all my ducks were in a row and the daughters could sign and all my paperwork was correct in every way to make this already stressful process a smooth one.

There were a few big and stressful bumps in the road

I carried out extensive research and advised the real estate agent that the documents were valid for the daughters to sign on their parent’s behalf, and Landgate would register them, and a contract of sale could be executed. But after lodging the EPAs with Landgate, I received a requisition notice indicating that the documents were incorrect, and the incorrect party had signed the statutory declarations. The person named in the requisition could not sign as they are blind, and the daughters would have had to go to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) to obtain a ruling that would allow them to sign on behalf of both parties.

I was not ready to give up yet. I questioned Landgate and asked them to check their records for the advice I had received. They did so and the dealing was sent to the lead examiner, who agreed with my documents and registered them on the same day.

I did follow ups and checks multiple times to ensure my documents couldn’t be wrong before they were signed by my clients. I wasn’t going to sleep until I questioned it as I knew I’d done everything I could to get it right for my clients. My clients were already under immense stress with the whole process – I wasn’t going to allow any more pressure on them when it wasn’t necessary.

In the end, my persistence paid off. I was able to navigate the complexities of their Enduring Power of Attorney documents and ensure that my clients’ interests were protected. This experience shows that attention to detail and follow-up are crucial when dealing with EPA documents and any documents for that matter. It was the prepping of the documents and how I researched heavily, dropping everything in order to attend to this situation and of course, my follow through that allowed for a positive outcome for my clients.

Looking after my clients, despite how complex the situation gets

As a settlement agent, I am always in my clients’ corner and ready to go the extra distance to help them, no matter how complex the situation gets.

Navigating the complexities of Enduring Power of Attorney documents requires attention to detail and follow-up, as each EPA is different and can come with limitations and restrictions. At Essence Conveyancing, I am persistent and often save my clients a huge amount of time and stress because it is my priority to be there, particularly if things go pear-shaped.