You might be familiar with the concept of having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place for when you get older and may not be capable of dealing with your affairs due to dementia or illness, but what about if you’re planning to be overseas for a long period of time? How do you protect your financial affairs when abroad?
Perhaps now you are able to travel, you will be enjoying an extended holiday abroad or making use of your holiday home. In these situations, it is worth considering how your affairs in the UK would be handled in your absence.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that, when properly completed and appropriately registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, authorises a person or a number of individuals to make decisions on your behalf.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney; one that appoints an Attorney to deal with matters relating to your health and welfare and the other that grants them authority to look after your property and financial affairs. The two types are completely separate from each other.
Protecting your property & financial affairs
Whereas a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) concerning your health and welfare will not be required until you are unable to make those decisions for yourself, a LPA for property and financial affairs can be used even when you have full mental capacity, such as when you are out of the country.
This provides you with flexibility as well as security, as an LPA for property and financial affairs can be registered and then remain dormant until such time as it is required.
With international travel starting to open up again, owners of holiday homes and yachts will understandably be looking to spend parts of the year outside of the UK.
This means leaving your property in the UK behind, often for months at a time, usually with informal arrangements in place with trusted family members or friends to keep an eye on matters.
However, if an important letter requiring action was to be received in your absence or emergency repairs needed on your home, or perhaps even an investment opportunity arose, family members or friends would not have authority to deal with the issue on your behalf.
Resolving issues from abroad
It can be challenging to try and resolve issues while overseas, and some matters will require your attendance in person or signing in the presence of a witness such as property transactions. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place for circumstances like this can be of great benefit and ensure that emergencies and legal matters can still be dealt with quickly and effectively in your absence.
As LPAs are something we all ought to have in place, it makes particularly good sense for anyone considering spending time abroad to have one completed to manage their property and financial affairs as an insurance policy. They are a great way of dealing with any unforeseen matters that require addressing during your time away from the UK, allowing you the peace of mind to enjoy your time abroad.
If you would like to discuss protecting your financial affairs when abroad, implement a Lasting Power of Attorney or to talk about any related matters, please contact us.