Moving Abroad | Can Your Financial Power of Attorney be Used?
  • Helen Claydon

Moving Abroad | Can Your Financial Power of Attorney be Used?

An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) or a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a part of putting the right plans in place when it comes to allowing someone else to make financial decisions on your behalf. This will be a requirement should you lose the capacity to make decisions yourself and it is also an important aspect of estate planning. If you are moving abroad, currently live abroad or even own property in another country then you need to make sure that the plans that you have put in place are right for you and your situation. If not, you will need to make sure that you put the correct plans in place so that your assets are protected.

Things to consider

The first thing you need to think about is whether the law in the country you are living in or moving to recognises your EPA or LPA. There are some countries that will recognise the relevant documents providing they are considered valid in both England and Wales. However, there may also be other requirements. The document might have to go through a translation process while there are many legal systems that will explicitly require an apostille being affixed. This is a certificate that has been issued by the Government and confirms that all signatures and seals on documents are authentic without the need for any more evidence or proof.

The second thing to consider is whether it is urgent or not. Of course, to get to this point, you would have had to follow a number of processes. However, there could still be more delays, especially if you have to convince a bank or other financial institution that the EPA or LPA is both enforceable and valid. The aim here is to make sure that you give yourself plenty of time and plan well ahead. Many banks in the UK are still having to make improvements to the way in which they handle UK powers of attorney. This proves that it could also be difficult to convince a bank overseas that they should accept the unfamiliar document that has come from another country.

Obtain the right advice

If you do have a property abroad, you live abroad or are moving abroad, then it makes sense to speak to a specialist located in that country. This will provide you with an insight into how that country will view your UK power of attorney and how they will be applied while you will also be able to determine whether you can rely on it. There is every chance that you will be advised to set up the equivalent of a power of attorney in every country where you hold assets. This will make it possible for you to avoid the problems that could become apparent as mentioned above. Getting everything in place now will provide you with peace of mind, knowing that your estate, however far and wide it might reach, will still be managed if you are unable to make financial decisions yourself.


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