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The Forum > Article Comments > 'Til death - or an EPA - us do part > Comments

'Til death - or an EPA - us do part : Comments

By Angela Smith, published 4/1/2013

For those who consider marriage sacrosanct, a recent High Court Appeal case is cause for concern.

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Many thanks for this article. It adds several new dimensions to a discussion which has been floating around in my head for years. Unfortunately, the article identifies the problem but offers no solution.

My wife and I are both retired and comfortable. It is evident that we still need to be cautious and vigilant about our relationships and affairs. Our kids are great, but we both have siblings who treated our parents and their estates shabbily.

So, my question is, if our kids could turn into green-eyed mosters, who and where are the fair, knowledgeable, reliable and impartial alternatives who could be our EPAs, EPGs and AHDs?
Posted by JohnBennetts, Friday, 4 January 2013 8:50:57 AM
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This disquieting article shows clearly what happens to humans when there is a chance of making some easy money.

It also shows how shabby the legal profession is because many of its the practitioners know that there is a lot of money to be made out of bitter contests involving wills.

Then, in a self-first, greedy, winners-take-all world, what else could you expect?

We reap what we sow, I guess, eventually.
Posted by David G, Friday, 4 January 2013 9:10:54 AM
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I can see the conversation now.

EPO to Lawyer:
My mother gifted away here wealth to her children and when she dies I would like some more, but my step father has held his estate in trust for his natural children. Can I contest his will ??

Lawyer:
Not in WA, step children canít contest using the Family Provision Act.
If he was in NSW you you'd be in like Flynn.
As EPO why not divorce him !? You get a fist full of money and I get a BMW.

One of the problems with judgment like these is that whatever planning you make in your will it comes down to the judge of the day. 24 Million dollars would have been lost to estates through will contests in NSW in 2012.

The Supreme Court of NSW heard 42 will contests in NSW with an average of 19% of the estate being spent on legal fees. Ouch !

Changefpa.com.au
Posted by Troposa, Friday, 4 January 2013 4:47:38 PM
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In reply to JohnBennetts. There is something you can do to protect yourself - never give the original of a signed EPA, EPG or AHD to the person who is nominated in the EPA, EPG or AHD. Put the document in the hands of a neutral third party - like a (hopefully trusted) doctor or (if there is such a thing) good lawyer.

And, badger the living daylights out of every politician until they introduce legislative protections; starting with the person who contests a will (or queries a persons mental capacity) being responsible for their own legal costs. The fact that - win or lose - legal costs come out of the estate, leaves no disincentive to vexatious or frivolous claims. Also, the lack of oversight of those given EPA, EPG etc must be rectified.
Posted by SHORT&SHARP, Monday, 7 January 2013 3:01:10 PM
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Thanks for great and timely article. Older australians seeking companionship are now lost victims of the politically correct brigade and are totally at the mercy of rapacious lawyers. Guess what, lawyers make the rules!
Posted by Pliny of Perth, Monday, 7 January 2013 5:19:22 PM
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