A woman has been appointed as her mother’s deputy in a power of attorney arrangement despite living more than 3,000 miles away in the United States.
The judge held that the arrangement could work perfectly well because of the advances in modern technology including online banking.
The case involved a woman who had been admitted to hospital in the UK suffering with dementia. Her daughter applied to become her deputy so she could manage her property and financial affairs. The woman’s two brothers objected because the daughter lived too far away in the US.
The Court of Protection, which looks after the interests of vulnerable people, found in favour of the daughter.
It said it used to be a commonly held view that the court should not appoint anyone as a deputy who lived abroad. However, it was relevant that there had been significant advances in cheaper air travel and in communications, such as online banking, digital reporting, mobile phone, email and Skype.
The fact that someone lived abroad should not prevent their appointment as a deputy if, in all other respects, they were the most suitable candidate, and their appointment was in the patient’s best interests.
In this case, the wishes and feelings of the mother could not be clearer: she wanted her daughter to look after her affairs. It was also obvious that the daughter had a good working relationship with those who were actually providing and funding her mother’s care.
She was the most suitable candidate for appointment as deputy, and the appointment was in her mother’s best interests.
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