Department of Health statistics show dementia is one of the top ten leading causes of death in Hong Kong. When someone you love becomes mentally ill, surely it is important to ensure his/her property and financial affairs are properly taken care of.
The Mental Health Ordinance provides two ways to handle the financial affairs of a mentally incapacitated person (“MIP”):
(a) application to the Guardianship Board for a Guardianship Order; or
(b) application to the High Court for appointing a committee under Part II of the Mental Health Ordinance (Cap. 136).
The scope of the Guardianship Board is relatively limited, mainly applicable to cases where the MIP has only savings at bank or cash. The Guardianship Board is authorized to a maximum monthly sum of HK$11,000, and such money can only be used for the MIP’s maintenance.
The appointment of a committee, on the other hand, enables a wider scope, which is detailed in specific Court Order, in protecting the properties of the MIP and making decisions to deal with his/her financial affairs.
Common examples are:
(a) high networth individual
(b) corporate key management personnel
(c) owner with cross-border assets
(d) owner of asset in dispute
More often than not, committee members would have to liaise with family members, corporate senior management, government bodies and financial institutions. Therefore such committees are often comprised of independent professional parties such as accountants.
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JLA Asia is experienced in similar administration matters. If you have questions, speak with one of our experts.