International and Expat Power of Attorney

Published / Last Updated on 21/09/2020

The Hague Convention on the Protection of Adults (which includes Powers of Attorney) has been signed by the UK but it has only been ratified in Scotland for Continuing Powers of Attorney (finance) and Welfare Powers of Attorney (health).  This means that a Scottish Power of Attorney would be accepted in other countries that have ratified the same e.g.  France, Germany and Switzerland but Lasting Powers of Attorney made in England and Wales may not be accepted in those countries and vice versa.

The one caveat to this is that under the Mental Health Act 2005, the law requires that other countries Powers of Attorney should be accepted by institutions in England and Wales such as a bank.

Recent test cases in the courts of England and Wales for powers of attorney made in New Zealand, Ontario, British Columbia, Spain etc found that 4 out of 5 cases passed English law but one did not.

Make Powers of Attorney in both countries:

Given the uncertainty, we suggest that you make Powers of Attorney in the country that you live but also in the other country where you may have assets.

If you live in Spain, the USA or wherever it is perfectly legal under English Law for you to draft Lasting Powers of Attorney in the UK.  You do not need to be a British National to make one and you do not need to live in the UK to make one.

Please contact us or book a call back if you need help with UK, expat and international powers of attorney.

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