Legal Help please - Medical Power of Attorney

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
11 replies 905 views
Leviticus1932Leviticus1932 Forumite
7 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
Hello, I am a first-time poster here and I am very much hoping someone will be able to help me with these questions:

Is a medical power of attorney drawn up in Northern Ireland (by a solicitor) still valid for an elderly person who has since been taken abroad, "diagnosed" with Alzheimers and put into a home there?

Is a person's "next of kin" automatically their eldest living relative or would it be the person they chose to hold their power of attorney?

Would their eldest living relative still be able to make such decisions for that person if they were suffering from some sort of dementia themselves?

Thank you for any assistance anyone can give me.


  • Hello, anyone? It's very important and really quite urgent!
  • QuentinQuentin Forumite
    40.4K Posts
    You need proper legal advice over this, see a solicitor.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Does anyone have ordinary POA for this person?

    I think you need a solicitor to give proper legal advice. Have you spoken to the one who set up the medical POA?
  • Thank you for your replies. I have spoken to the solicitor. He said he doesn't think a POA obtained in Northern Ireland would hold any weight now she has been taken outside of Northern Ireland.

    I was so hoping someone here would be able to tell me that's not true; that the jurisdiction of the POA is actually the person herself - especially as it is to do with her mental health and wellbeing - no matter where in the world she has found herself through no choice of her own.

    She was told she was going for a 4-week vacation and has ended up in a facility for dementia care (notwithstanding she was tested by her doctor here a month earlier and her tests were clear.) She is 85 years old. She has nothing of her own with her apart from some clothes, but nothing personal, no photographs, no memories. She is being kept in isolation and not allowed contact in any way with any other family or friends apart from those who put her in the facility. She made some phonecalls a month ago and when found out, they had her phone taken off her. She has been in there almost 3 months now. I am so desperately worried should this continue, she will just give up and die.

    She holds both British and Irish valid passports. Can I get help from some government body in either Britain or Ireland that way? I guess what I really want to know is who can I phone for help before it's too late?

    Thank you again for your replies, much appreciated.
  • Mojisola, to answer your question, I have copies of the document signed by herself, myself and the attorney giving me her total Power of Attorney but it has never been registered with a court as, before now, there was no need.
  • edited 7 May 2012 at 2:16PM
    leskerrleskerr Forumite
    129 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 7 May 2012 at 2:16PM
    You could try the Legal Issues board on the Motley Fool, they often have discussions on POAs:

    Also, post a little more detail. Where has she been taken? Great Britain, ROI, other EU, further afield? What relation is the person that took her, and what nationality do they hold? Also your status.

  • Leskerr, thank you for the link. The lady is my aunt and she has been taken to America by her brother. I am Irish.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Register the POA immediately. That will over-ride anyone claiming to be next of kin.

    Doesn't she need some kind of visa to be living in the States?

    This all sounds very nasty and won't be not, or cheaply, sorted out.
  • Mojisola, unfortunately she is also an American citizen, as is her brother who already had arrangements in place for the day after they arrived in the US to (likely) gain Power of Attorney over her himself.

    If he has and is now claiming within weeks she has dementia, would that POA even be valid? Or does the one she made here long before when no such claims were being made by him, or anyone else, take precedence?

    Can you explain what would registering my POA would do now? (Though I'm relieved to hear you say it, this is what I was expecting her solicitor to say!)

    You're right, sadly, it is all very nasty indeed.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
    34.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Get good legal advice. This is too complicated and serious to be dealt with on a forum.
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