Managing your parent's financial affairs from abroad
The Court of Protection has made the decision¹ to appoint a deputy, who is not resident in England and Wales, to manage the property and financial affairs of someone who is.
The donor had been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia and moved into a care home which triggered her daughter’s decision to apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney.
A concern raised by some of the donor’s relatives was the daughter’s place of residence, the United States of America. As well as the common familial arguments concerning who truly has the best interests of the donor at heart, a key question was how did the daughter intend to manage her mother’s affairs from approximately 3600 miles away?
Senior Judge Lush did point out that ‘normally a person resident out of the jurisdiction will not be appointed. Such a person could be appointed, but inconveniences usually result’. However, the opinions given in 1991 surely cannot be solely relied upon in the 21st Century.
Senior Judge suggested that due to ‘technological advances in communications, such as online banking, digital reporting, mobile phone, email and skype, and cheaper air travel’, in a world where communication is instantaneous and banking can be completed at the touch of a button, managing somebody else’s affairs from another country is far easier than it would have been 24 years ago.
In this case the care home staff were in regular contact by email and whenever money was requested the daughter arranged for deposits to be made online. The daughter also was in contact with the County Council debt recovery team to arrange the repayment of her mother’s debts which no other family member had been proactive about.
The best interests of the donor, it would seem, can now be upheld by a deputy anywhere in the world. However, deputies should not be so hasty to pack their bags for Barbados as it must still be proved that the donor’s needs will be met regardless.
If you are living abroad and have parents located in the UK, do not hesitate to contact the team at asb law to assist you with any issues that are arising.
For more information on our services for vulnerable people and their families and to start a conversation on how we can help, please contact Stella Mullane, Associate, Vulnerable People.
Published: 20 Nov 2015