Lasting Powers of Attorney – Part 2
In my blog last week I wrote about Lasting Powers of Attorney and the reasons why an LPA should be made [in order to ensure that someone will have legal authority to look after your financial affairs and health and medical concerns in the event that you might one day lose mental capacity].
By coincidence I have had two cases to deal with recently which relate to this.
A Canadian lady came to see me. She was in England for a short visit to see her son who now lives permanently in England. During her stay she wished to sign and notarize a Canadian document which is the Canadian equivalent of the English LPA. Once notarized the document will be recognized and accepted in Canada.
However its form of wording was completely different to the English LPA document and it would not be accepted or understood as an LPA by the English Guardianship Office (The Court of Protection)
I asked the lady whether she has any other family in Canada and the answer is that no, her only close relatives are in England.
This does very much raise the question as to how her English resident son will actually do the job of being her Protector if ever she should need him to.
One imagines that the reality is, if she should be ever reduced to a state of incomprehension and needing full time care, that he would make arrangements for her to come to England to live in a care home here.
The obvious problem then would be that the son does not hold an English LPA and this would then cause obvious difficulties, in dealing with Banks and Doctors and Care Homes in England on her behalf.
My advice therefore was that in addition to the Canadian Power of Attorney an English Power should also be prepared.
A second case was similar but a mirror image in a way – an elderly man whom I visited in a Leeds Care Home was selling his property in Florida because his general state of health means that he will never be able to visit it again.
Happily, although this client was developing some confusions and in his conversation he did include some rather odd false memory, still the main purpose of my attendance upon him was clear in his mind. He knew that he had a house in America, he knew he was signing documents to sell it.
I suspect that if I should visit this client next year then his state of comprehension may not be as clear, unfortunately these things only seem to go one way.
This man has in fact made a Lasting Power of Attorney in England. The problem would be that if he had already lost capacity, I do not think that his Protector under the existing English Lasting Power of Attorney would have been able to persuade the Americans that this was a document that they could rely upon.
I think that he has dealt with his American investment somewhat in the nick of time. This American case is, in a way, a mirror image of the Canadian situation and it shows that it is wise for anyone making a Lasting Power of Attorney in England also to make a Foreign equivalent for any jurisdiction in which they have assets or property.
Do please contact me whenever you require your legal documents for use abroad to be Notarised and/or endorsed with the FCO Apostille – email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 (0) 1138160116