Summer Holidays Abroad? Got Your Notarised Consent to Travel?

Summer Holidays Abroad? Got Your Notarised Consent to Travel?

It is that time of the year – the big mid-year school holiday break! – Foreign holidays are being booked by parents for their children to enjoy travelling with  – Both parents? One parent? or no parent?

We have done many blogs over the years about the need for Consent to Travel for children travelling with one or no parents but due to the time of year I think a reminder blog would be useful.

As mentioned previously, South Africa now insists on a notarised Consent to Travel on every occasion that a child is to the visit the country without both parents.

Thousands of holidays have been ruined because people have not prepared the necessary documents. Here is an example https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/family-holidays/how-to-fly-to-south-africa-with-children-birth-certificate-affidavit/

Here is another https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/holiday-horror-story-south-africas-red-tape-cost-us-8000-dream/

Increasingly more and more European countries are now insisting on such a Consent to be produced.  Portugal is now giving the advice that a Consent to Travel must be produced.

So what do you need to do?

Firstly please ring to arrange a mutually convenient appointment to meet with the Notary.  South Africa is the only country at present that has their own specific form which they require completing and notarising. For any other country we can prepare a suitable notarised Consent.

What do you need to bring for the Notary to prepare you a Consent to Travel:

We would be required to see the consenting parent’s/guardian’s passports and a proof of address i.e bank statement or utility bill.

Also please bring the child’s long form Birth Certificate [the long-form certificate shows the parent(s) names]. If you do not have a long form certificate and the child was born in UK we can purchase this on your behalf. Also do note that this Birth Certificate should be carried on the journey in due course,

If possible please bring the travel itinerary – it is useful to mention flight times and numbers in the consent.

Also if possible please bring original or a copy of the passport of the travelling adult and of the child. This is not essential, because those passports will be carried on the journey.

It is a lot of fuss and palaver, looked at from your point of view. Sorry about that. But look at it from the Airline’s and Border Guards’ viewpoint. They are working to stop children being abducted, kidnapped or trafficked.

And, of course, most instances of child abduction are committed by one of the parents. Here is a link to a list fourteen pages long of cases in European Court of Human Rights. Rule of thumb, how many thousands of abductions for every case which reaches that Court? https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/FS_Child_abductions_ENG.pdf

So really, no point in arguing, just get in touch with us and we will help you through the maze.

This week’s song  – song h ere –

Remember, if you require our services or if you have any queries on any of the services that we offer then please so not hesitate to email us louise@atkinsonnotary.com  and notary@atkinsonnotary.com.

Or alternatively please telephone on 0113 8160116 or 07715608747.  Please also feel free to visit our website http://www.atkinsonnotary.com

 

 

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Bank Accounts Abroad – Today, Spain. Louise Assists.

Bank Accounts Abroad – Today, Spain. Louise Assists.

Increasingly, our clients are seeking our help in the matter of closing down foreign bank accounts – most recently we have received a request to close down a client’s bank account in Spain.

Can we help? – Well yes we can once the paperwork has been prepared. I always advise that the first port of call would be to make contact with a lawyer in the country the bank account is in. It is getting increasingly difficult to pass the stringent tests applied when closing down bank accounts overseas and moving the funds back to England.

It can save a lot of time and therefore money in seeking specialist advice from a Lawyer in the jurisdiction, who of course will be able to speak directly with the bank on your behalf to ascertain the best way forward.

One of the main difficulties one would imagine is the initial communication with the bank – if you do not speak the language, then it can be a frustrating affair to try and obtain instructions when the bank clerk does not speak English as a first language if at all and you do not speak Spanish for example.

We have seen clients who have been advised by one clerk to “just jot down a note to say you wish to close your account and sign before a Notary in England and then get a Foreign Office Apostille” [if you do not know what a Foreign Office Apostille is then see here – a link to my earlier blog-].

Just jot down a note?

I suppose that in a sense the advice is right, but it’s not useful. Because the words of the note you decide to write, are unlikely to be the words of the note that the Bank official had in mind.

If the Bank does not provide the actual text of document of what it needs then the chances of it accepting and acting upon a note written by a layman in English language are remote to say the least.

The classic scenario is that a note is duly written, then Notarised and then endorsed with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Apostille, and paying for a courier to send the “note” directly back to the bank. Job done so the client thinks – Bank receives the document and confirms to the client that “it is very nearly right but not quite! – Sorry you will have to start again”. Frustrating or what? – a costly trial for the poor client!

So what now, well of you go and start again in the hope that this time the bank’s second set of instructions will do the trick – make an appointment with the notary, blah blah blah spend more £??? to hopefully close down the account – again no guarantee – from experience it seems that one bank clerk has a different idea to another bank clerk as to what is actually required and because of the language barrier the poor client ends up going round and round in circles and this can go on and on without having the desired effect.

My advice is to start by seeking seek the guidance of a professional – who will be able to speak in the “mother-tongue” to the bank and ascertain what document(s) are required and your adviser can prepare the wording of such document(s) – this even can be written in the foreign language i.e Spanish for example and emailed across directly to us for you to sign before the Notary – this would mean one visit only and one expense to the Foreign Office.

It is a bit of a no brainer really! Seek guidance from professional and save yourself time and money in the process. But it is the fact that nine out of ten times in our experience this is not done.

The same applies for closing the bank account of a deceased person – if the executors are wishing to close down a foreign account then various documents will need to be submitted – usually notarised and apostilled first – mainly Death Certificate, Grant of Probate etc.. sometimes a notarial certificate is also required if the deceased person died without leaving a Will – the certificate required from the Notary usually sets out England’s intestacy rules – again this will then need to be submitted to the Foreign Office.

So the message is, do not think it will be easier or cheaper to try to do what the first Bank Clerk suggests and cut out the lawyers, in relation to foreign Bank accounts and assets generally.

Instead, come and have a word with me and I will put you on the right track.

Really this guidance is good for all aspects for preparation and execution of documents for use abroad. I suppose people understand that a technical document like a court paper or a Power of Attorney will need professional guidance, but assume that the closing of a Bank account should and will be simple. Rookie error!

Don’t get it wrong – song here –

Remember, if you require our services or if you have any queries on any of the services that we offer then please so not hesitate to email us louise@atkinsonnotary.com and notary@atkinsonnotary.com.
Or alternatively please telephone on 0113 8160116 or 07715608747. Please also feel free to visit our website http://www.atkinsonnotary.com

Make a Will. Are Friends Electric?

Make a Will. Are Friends Electric?

I have blogged several times about the wisdom of making a Will. Everyone who is an adult with at least a bank account to pass on, should do so..

I suspect that everyone reading this does already understand and agree, but there is often a marked reluctance about actually taking the step.

I will probably blog again and set out once again all of the compelling reasons for making Wills.

But perhaps if I do list all of the good reasons, I still won’t identify the new trend recently identified in China as one of them.

According to a report in the Chinese Global Times, Lily Tong has prepared her new Will and presented it the local Notary so that her son will be cared for after her death.

Lily is only 25 so there is every reason to hope that she will be around for a long time yet, but she believes you can’t be too careful and I would agree.

Except that in this case her “son” is virtual. And, by the way, a Frog.

So her concern is that should she die then her digital frog – which only exists in a video game – would itself “die” without someone to log in and recharge its virtual life support.

At first glance, and perhaps at second and third, there is plenty to laugh at. There was the craze of Tamagotchi in the 1990s, digital creatures hatched from eggs on your keychain fob which also needed regular attention or they would “die”. I don’t remember anyone wanting to make provision in their Will for the long term care of a Tamagotchi.

But at a fourth glance, perhaps there is something about the immersive nature of the video game, of the virtual reality, which speaks to the human brain particularly of teens and young adults.

And if what really matters to you in your life should not be the subject of your Will, then what should?

And then again, there have been science fiction stories from the 1960s or earlier suggesting that one day a human’s mind, its experience, memory and personality could be downloaded and stored into a computer. So then, the person will die, but will live on forever in the computer, continuing to think, make decisions – be “alive”. Even more alive in a way than Lily’s frog, but still only virtual.

And those virtual persons will need maintenance and care. Someone to keep the computers on and backed up.

Or then again, again, when robotics goes further, perhaps it will be the robots and the computers, and the virtual personalities which used to be humans, who become the carers for the humans?

So that before the time that Lily does die after several decades, perhaps it might be her virtual frog who has actually taken over her care?

Is there anyone else who feels that the pace of life is accelerating beyond the ability of the law to keep up?

Here’s the song – link here-

In the meantime, and until then, Remember, if you require our services or if you have any queries on any of the services that we offer then please so not hesitate to email us louise@atkinsonnotary.com  and notary@atkinsonnotary.com.

Or alternatively please telephone on 0113 8160116 or 07715608747. Please also feel free to visit our website http://www.atkinsonnotary.com