Registering a foreign power of attorney in Jersey

Written by: Ogier Posted: 19/03/2021

BL72_OgierAD_VictoriaGroganIf a person who is resident outside Jersey holds assets in Jersey, they may wish to ensure that they have made adequate provision to appoint someone who can manage those assets in the event that they lose capacity to do this themselves. Often, these considerations form part of a person’s wider estate planning. By Victoria Grogan, Head of Wills and Probate at Ogier

There is no facility at present for non-Jersey residents to put a local, Jersey lasting power of attorney in place to cover their Jersey-based assets.

Instead, the Jersey Court will recognise the foreign power of attorney (or equivalent document, such as a guardianship or deputy order) provided that the foreign power of attorney is registered with the Royal Court of Jersey. 

Once registered, the attorney appointed under the foreign document has the legal authority to deal with the assets in Jersey. This is confirmed by way of a formal Act of Court, which is issued by the Royal Court of Jersey and is appended to the foreign lasting power of attorney document.  

The application to register a foreign power of attorney is straightforward and is made in chambers by way of an application known as a representation. 

This application must be made by a Jersey-qualified lawyer and the following documents must be provided to the Royal Court of Jersey:

1. The original (registered) foreign power of attorney (or equivalent document) or a copy of this document that has been officially sealed and certified by the court in the foreign jurisdiction that registered the original. If it is usual in the country of issue for a notary to authenticate the foreign power of attorney document, then the notary can provide an official copy for use in Jersey. If the original document is an English lasting power of attorney, then the Royal Court of Jersey will accept a copy of the registered document that is certified by a solicitor.  

2. Confirmation of the current value of the asset or assets in Jersey. A bank statement or share valuation or similar will be sufficient.

3. Identification documents from both the donor and the attorney, which are properly certified in line with our certificate guidelines.

4. A Treasury receipt to the value of £120 representing the stamp duty fee charged by the Royal Court of Jersey to register this type of document in Jersey.

If the foreign power of attorney (or equivalent) does not need to be formally registered in the country of origin in order for it to be officially valid and utilised, then we will also require an affidavit from a lawyer in that jurisdiction which confirms this. 

Once the Jersey Act of Court is issued, it can be lodged with the Jersey asset holder, who can then validly accept instructions from the attorney.  

In the event that the Jersey asset holder accepts instructions from the attorney appointed under a foreign power of attorney, without that document first being registered in Jersey, then they are at greater risk from the foreign document, or the instructions given by the attorney, being fraudulent.

For more information on this process, contact Ogier’s wills, probate and estate planning team at wills@ogier.com  

• This advertising feature was first published in the March/April 2021 edition of Businesslife magazine


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