What is a power of attorney?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document that sets out tasks or actions for another person or firm to do on your behalf. But why might a POA be needed? And what's involved in preparing one?

If you cannot travel to the country that your transaction is taking place in, a POA is often provided so that someone can complete things that you cannot. It can ease the process and save travel times. Some may wish to use a POA to allow staff members or agents to conduct business or a particular transaction.

When the POA is to be used abroad, you will probably be asked to have the document notarised. This means you will sign the document before a notary, and we confirm that this has been done either on the document itself or by attaching a notarial certificate. By doing this the notary will have verified your identity and that you are the correct person to have signed the document, whether it be for your own use or for that of a company. We will also be checking that you understand the document and what it means when you sign it.

Normally the document is drafted by a competent person or firm in the receiving jurisdiction. This will help ensure it is valid and enforceable there. I will need to check the document and make sure that there are no further steps needs to make sure that it is valid here too.

In addition to notarisation, you may need to have an apostille attached to the document. Some countries have signed up to the Hague Apostille Convention, and if they are they will ask for one. If you need one and don’t obtain it, your document will be rejected, and the transaction delayed. Further legalisation is required for some countries, and the extra rimes and costs needs to be factored in when arranging the execution of the document.

If you would like assistance with your power of attorney, please do not hesitate to get in touch.