What Is an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and Why Do You Need It?

There comes a time when we find ourselves in a situation where we can’t make decisions. When this time comes, we worry about what happens to everything and everyone we care about. This is why having a will in place is important.

Understandably, some people will choose to make provisions for someone to make important decisions for them if they’re not able to. This is where an Enduring Power of Attorney in NSW comes into the picture. Stay on this page as we talk in-depth about Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and why people need it. 

Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA): What Is It?

As you may already know, a general Power of Attorney allows someone to make decisions if they’re unable to make them for a period of time. An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), on the other hand, is different in that it operates specifically if and when the individual doesn’t have the capacity to make decisions. This EPA is basically a legal document that usually takes effect when the individual loses the capacity to manage their affairs.

With this EPA, you can appoint someone you trust to make decisions for you if you no longer have the capacity to do so. These decisions can apply to legal and financial affairs as well as your property. You may nominate these areas for your enduring attorney to make decisions on your behalf.

In the Australian Capital TerritoryQueensland, and Victoria, it’s possible to also give authority to your enduring attorney to make decisions around personal, health, and well-being matters. You just have to ensure that your EPA is drafted correctly so that even if the worst happens, you can rest assured that your best interests will be taken care of. 

Why Have an EPA?

When you have an EPA in place, you can have the comfort of knowing that someone you trust has the legal authority to make the decisions that need to be made if something happens to you and you lose the capacity to decide things. With a correctly drafted EPA, you can nominate any person you trust and give them the authority to make decisions on your behalf. The EPA covers:

  • what decisions can be made; 
  • what to consider when making particular decision; 
  • any limitations to making such decisions; and 
  • when to make the decisions on your behalf. 

In simplest terms, an EPA means you have someone to make the decisions in any way that you would want them to be made. 

What Can an EPA Do?

To understand how Enduring Power of Attorney in NSW works, let’s go over the things that an EPA can do. 

  • appoints anyone over the age of 18 years to assist an individual with money or property. (It can be a relative, friend, or professional adviser. It does not have to be a solicitor or lawyer.) 
  • authorises the appointed person/s to operate bank accounts 
  • can enable the appointed person/s to vote at meetings and sell property 

Attorney’s Control of Decisions and Powers 

Your attorney can make decisions about your property or financial affairs—from operating bank accounts, paying bills, and selling or buying property (house or shares) on your behalf. Whether it involves accessing cash or making investments, you can control the power you give to the attorney. This is done by placing limits or conditions in the EPA.

Sample Scenario: 

An enduring attorney is given limited authority to do specific tasks like paying bills but not selling property.

Should you wish to limit your attorney’s powers, seek legal advice about the best way to do this.

When an Enduring Power of Attorney Starts

You have the freedom to decide when you would like your enduring power of attorney to commence. Ideally, you want your enduring power of attorney to start immediately after appointing the person you want to act legally on your behalf. When drafting your EPA, you have to make it clear when you want it to start.

If not, then it will start when the person accepts the appointment and signs the EPA. 

When an Enduring Power of Attorney Ends

Your enduring power of attorney ends when you revoke it, granted that you have mental capacity at that time. Other conditions include the following:

  • when the appointed attorney dies and can no longer act on your behalf; 
  • when 2 or more attorneys are appointed but one of them dies or can no longer act as an attorney; and 
  • on your death. 

How to Appoint an Enduring Power of Attorney?

It’s worth noting that an EPA document is just as important as a Will. This is why it’s best to obtain legal advice when drafting the EPA according to your specific wishes. To give you an idea, this is how the process of appointing an attorney works:


An EPA must include a witness’s certificate completed and signed by witnesses. The witness must be present during signing. These people can be your witnesses as you affix your signature on the EPA document and complete the certificate: 

  • Australian barrister or solicitor 
  • Registrar of a state Local Court 
  • Employee of the Public Trustee or private trustee company who has completed an approved course 
  • Licenced conveyancer 
  • Qualified overseas lawyer


There is no requirement to register the enduring power of attorney, but there is a registration fee. You have to complete the registration process so that it may be more easily accepted as evidence that your attorney has authority to deal with your financial affairs. By registering, your EPA will be on record as a public document and kept safe from loss or destruction. 

Draft Your EPA with Absolute Legal Services

Take note of the mentioned points if you are considering appointing an attorney to act on your behalf. You will also need legal advice when drafting an enduring power of attorney in NSW to ensure everything meets your terms. Should you decide to draft your EPA, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Absolute Legal Services.

Our legal team is always ready to assist you in the process of writing your EPA. We also provide estate legal services to help with property matters. 

Everything You Should Know About Property Conveyancing

property conveyancing services

So, you have finally found your dream home that is well within your budget and has got everything you want from a house –  dreamy backyard, cosy rooms, etc. But buying a house doesn’t end right after you have contacted a real estate agent or the seller. Then comes the challenge of finding a good conveyancer.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may be unclear on whether you need property conveyancing services. What are conveyancers and what do they do? Should you engage in their services?

In this post, we will explain what is involved in conveyancing services when buying a property and how they can help make the transaction easy for you. 

What Is Conveyancing and How Does It Work? 

The process of transferring ownership of a legal title of land or property to the new owner (whether it be a person or business entity) is called conveyancing. As you can imagine, the paperwork comes after you’ve found the perfect house that fits well within your budget. For first-time buyers, the settlement process may seem like a complex task. 

Typically, the settlement process would involve various administrative and financial duties (taxes, move-in fees, etc.), and this is where a conveyancer steps in. Helping you navigate the seemingly drawn-out process; the right conveyancer will make your first property-buying experience smooth and hassle-free. 

Hiring a conveyancer is not legally required. However, it does not hurt to have someone act on your behalf and avoid potential legal pitfalls. For a reasonable fee, you can have more time to focus on moving. 

What are the steps involved in conveyancing? 

So, as you can see, passing a property to a new owner involves a lot of paperwork. Typically, a conveyancing transaction consists of three stages. These are the precontract, pre-completion, and post-completion stagesIf you are looking to get property conveyancing services, read on. Below, we will take a more in-depth look at the three stages of conveyancing. 

1. Pre-Contract 

Here, a sale has been agreed upon. The seller’s conveyancer will then put together a contract pack that includes various documents of property information, title deeds, and the contract for the sale. The buyer’s conveyancer will sift through this contract pack, carrying out searches of records relating to local authority issues, environment considerations, water and drainage, and more. 

The buyer’s conveyancer will also raise enquiries with the seller’s conveyancer. It is the buyer’s conveyancer’s responsibility to make sure there are no potential problems for the buyer in owning and subsequently selling the property in the future. The conveyancer will also act for the lender to ensure that the property is good security for the lender’s loan (that is if the buyer is using a mortgage to buy the property). 

2. Pre-Completion 

In this stage, the buyer’s conveyancer will arrange for the mortgage funds to be sent in time for completion. The conveyancer will also arrange all final documents and financial matters to be resolved. By doing so, the completion can take place smoothly. 

Both the seller and buyer should make their arrangements for moving and packing up in the period between exchange of contracts and completion. Next comes the moving day or when ownership of the property changes hands. The agents will hand over the keys to the new owner. 


This is when the buyer settles into his or her new home. However, the conveyancer’s work does not end upon the turnover of keys. For the seller’s conveyancer’s part, he will ensure that the seller’s mortgage is paid off. He also needs to confirm if the lender’s mortgage is removed from the title documents. 

The buyer’s conveyancer will deal with the final transactions: 1) dealing with payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax to HM Revenue and Customs, and 2) registering the buyer’s title at HM Land Registry.  

How long does conveyancing take? 

There are so many varied factors that come into play during conveyancing. Every stage of the conveyancing transaction is different and sometimes comes with unforeseen challenges. Our aim is to act as efficiently as possible, liaising with all parties involved with results within a matter of days. 

Therefore, it is important to ensure that everything is in legal order, especially when considerable sums of money are already spent. The conveyancer’s responsibility includes explaining and re-assuring their clients as to the progress of the whole transaction. As conveyancers have the expertise and access to services and information that a layperson does not have, they make the transaction easy and hassle-free. 

How much do legal conveyancing services cost? 

It is important to consider conveyancing fees in NSW before getting conveyancing services. The cost of a conveyancer can range from $700 – $2,500. While most firms charge a flat fee, some conveyancers specialising in specific aspects of real estate may charge more for their services. 

When you request a quote from different conveyancers, you will notice that their rates are not far off from each other. Be sure to ask if their quote already includes third-party fees. It is best for you to get multiple quotes from different firms or research online. 

Turn to Us for Property Conveyancing Services 

If you’re looking to buy a property in NSW, let our team here at Absolute Legal Services guide you throughout your property-buying journey. With our conveyancing services, you can make your purchase smooth-sailing. From preparing the contract to arranging mortgage payments, we will be with you throughout the process. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us to enquire about our conveyancing services.

What Grant am I entitled to?

First Home Buyer – Building a New Home – Renovating?

First Home New Home

Both the NSW and Federal Governments have adopted a number of Grant Schemes to:-

  • Assist First Home Buyers to enter the property market whether buying an existing property or building a new home
  • Assist people building a new home – you do not need to be a First Home Buyer; and
  • Assist people renovating their existing homes.

First Home Buyers  – The First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme provides a stamp duty exemption for homes up to $650,000.00 and concessions for homes up to $800,000.00. This could save more than $24,000.00!

A First Home Buyer can also purchase vacant land and receive a stamp duty exemption for land up to $350,000.00 and concessions for land up to $450,00.00

In order to receive the stamp duty exemption you must not have previously owned a property,  for example, of your partner previously owned a property you might still receive a 50% reduction in stamp duty.

If you are a First Home Buyer buying land (or own land) and are building a new home then in addition to the stamp duty exemption/concession you are entitled to a First Home Owner Grant of $10,000.00 from the NSW Government providing the total purchase price of the land and new home does not exceed $750,000.00.

Of course there are other eligibility requirements such as being Australian Citizens, are over the age of 18 years, must not have previously owned property and you must use the house as your principal place of residence.   

Need to know more regarding what is availabe to you as a First Home Buyer ?Call (02) 4388 4410 or email us at rozdavis@absolutelegal.com.au

Home Builder  –  Homebuilder provides eligible owner/occupiers; including First Home Buyers with a grant of $25,000.00 to build a new home or substantially rennovate an existing home providing the contract is signed between 4/6/2020 and 31/12/2020.  There are income limits such as $200,00.00 per annum for a couple.

Some of the eligibility requirements to qualify for the $25,000.00 grant are:

  • If you are building a new home the value of the property (land and house) must not exceed $750,000.00 and it must be your principal place of residence.
  • If you are renovating your principal place of residenc, the renovation contract must be between $150,000.00 to $750,000.00. The value of your existing property must not exceed $1.5 million.

Need to know more regarding the Homebuilder Grant?  Call (02) 4388 4410 or email us at rozdavis@absolutelegal.com.au for free advice regarding this Grant.


Digital assets and Estate Planning


Estate Planning

What are digital assets?

Most of us today bank, shop, and pay our bills online.  Our tablets and pc’s often have hundreds of photos and we have numerous social media accounts.  We have countless passwords and pin numbers.  So a digital asset is anything you personally own on a digital device such as a laptop, mobile, etc and includes the contents you own on that device, for example, emails, photos, documents, music.    Other digital assets could be online accounts, social media accounts, websites etc.

So why should you consider your digital assets in your Will and Power of Attorney?

You need to empower someone to manage your digital assets, otherwise the assets may be left in limbo, causing great difficulty in closing and managing accounts;   Social media accounts continue open and cannot be closed without difficulty.  Estate assets could be difficult to trace and may not be found. Privacy laws can cause issues when trying to access and manage online accounts and social media.  So it is important to give someone the power to access and manage your digital assets.

Digital Executor and Attorney ?

Your executor is responsible for administering the affairs of your estate and you can include specific provision in your Will for your executor or appoint a specific person to deal with your digital assets, and similarly; your attorney can be empower with specific provisions regarding managing and accessing your digital assets.

Managing your Digital Assets?

For most of us, you need to make a registry record of all your online accounts (banks, shopping, betting, utility, rates etc), passwords, pin numbers, locations of electronic documents, photos, music, email accounts, social media accounts, answers to secret questions.   We then recommend transfer the registry to a usb device,  put it away safely and tell your executor or attorney where the device can be found and any password to open the device.  We also recommend you update your registry every 12 months and replace the usb every 12 months.

View our Fees for Wills & Powers of Attorney here

Contact Us or email Roz Davis to discuss your Digital Asset Estate Planning requirements at rozdavis@absolutelegal.com.au