How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34910
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

Not sure if you can assist with this but any advice appreciated. My

This answer was rated:

Not sure if you can assist with this but any advice appreciated.
My mother is a resident in a retirement home in the UK for independent living. She holds a UK passport. Her passport is being held by my brother from whom I am estranged. He is refusing to return it to her. I live in France and want her to visit as does she.want to come here for a holiday..However, my brother maintains that it is not in her best interests for her to come here. She has asked for the return of the passport as have I but he refuses.
Is there anything that can be done to require him to return the passport to her.
Adele Fellows
Thank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further informtaion firstis your mother still mentally capable?Does anyone hold Power of Attorney for her?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Claire,Thanks for your reply.
Some background to assist you. My mother was living in Spain until October last year having been there for nearly thirty years. She moved to the UK as she was finding life difficult living alone (she is 80 years) and wanted to be near to family. As she had become older she was finding it harder to manage living in a large house on her own and was experiencing quite severe loneliness. She was also having some health issues, vertigo. She also suffers from frequent short and long term memory loss although she has not been diagnosed with dementia or related illness. she did have a brain tumour removed about four years ago and the doctor in Spain suggested the memory loss may be connected to that.However, she has all her faculties and is capable of decision making. She is living in a private retirement complex in a studio apartment. It is not a care or nursing home and in fact one of the requirements of her tenancy agreement is that she is capable of independent living. She can be forgetful and get confused at times but she is perfectly rational the majority of the the time.I hold a power of attorney issued in Spain in 2015 which enabled me to deal with the sale of her house there and any other Spanish related affairs.She still has a bank account there which I manage on her behalf. I don't know if my brother who lives very near to her or my other brother or sister have taken a poa as I am not in communication with any of them. I live in France semi retired and over the recent years have always been the sibling who has taken the lead when sorting out any problems with my mother. The others have given little support or help until the issue was forced and she returned to live in the UK where she has now settled.She has previously lost her passport in Spain and her forgetfulness can result in her misplacing/loosing things so I can understand safekeeping of important documents until she needs them.My brother has intimated that her coming to visit me in France is not an option as he feels she needs stability. Yet she is currently in Wales with my other brother on a holiday and at Easter spent a week in London with my sister. It appears that my siblings want to keep my mother away from me despite her desire to come here for a short holiday. I speak to her nearly everyday and she is always asking me when I can come over to get her. But without the passport its not possible.So as I see things the passport is deliberately being withheld from my mother to prevent her coming to France and to prevent me from coming to collect her.My only desire is to act in her best interests and at this point I can see no reason why her coming here for a few days will create any instability. In fact not being able to come because she doesn't have possession of her own passport is causing her some frustration.If you need any further information please let me know.Thanks for your help it is much appreciated.Kind regardsAdele
Have you asked your mother if she has signed a Power of Attorney?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare,I have spoken to my mother and she has not signed a power of attorney only the one I have in Spain which is still valid.Regards
Would you be willing to involve Social Services?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare,Can you advise what role Social Services would play in this and in retrieving her passport ? I am reluctant to get them involved at this stage as I want to keep any stress caused by this situation to my mother to a minimum and their intervention could upset her.Regards
If your brother has physically removed the passport and is not listening to your mother's requests to return it then the options are limited.She can report the passport as stolen (as technically it has been) and apply for a replacement passport.Alternatively you can ask Social Services to become involved on the basis that she is a Vulnerable Adult and her son is abusing her by retaining her passport.ON balance the first option is likely to be the least troublesome - and she does not not need to inform your brother what she is doing.Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your answer.If she were to go down the route of applying for a replacement passport on the grounds that it has been stolen would she be obliged by the passport authority to inform the police of that?
She can report it to the police - they will not take any action
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Although I live in France is there any reason that would prevent me from obtaining a power of attorney ?
You already hold a Power of Attorney - it simply does not help you force the issue regarding the passport.Your mother can certainly sign a UK Power of Attorney.How realistic it is for your to manage her finances from France is another matter
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Managing her finances isn't really a problem as I have online access to her principle bank account which is in Spain as that is where her capital remains. I can also access her UK account.One final question assuming she obtains a new passport is there any reason based on the current circumstances as they stand that my siblings could prevent her from traveling to France accompanied by myself for the journey?
Then I suggest that you come over and help her organise the Lasting Power of Attorney and obtain a new passport - no one can stop her going for a holiday with you