What is a Special Powers of Attorney?

Authorising a person to act on your behalf is a common practice in Australia and overseas. This can be achieved by signing a Power of Attorney document. If the document is signed for use in another country, it will need to be notarised by a Notary Public to be acceptable overseas.

Many people give Power of Attorney to another person when they are unable to be physically present to sign important documents. The authorised person, called an Attorney, can only act on your behalf as outlined in the Power of Attorney document.

For example, when selling or buying property outside Australia, people often grant a Power of Attorney to a person in the same country where their property is or will be located. This allows them to manage the selling or buying process more easily, as they will not need to travel to the country to sign contracts or solve issues that arise.

Important Special Power of Attorney Questions

Prior to having a Power of Attorney document signed and witnessed for use overseas, it is important to ask the receiving overseas entity:

  • What are the requirements as to the form and wording of the document?
  • What are the witnessing requirements?

What is the wording that should be used in the “Power of Attorney” document?

It is important that the document is carefully prepared in line with your instructions and the local law where it is to be recognised. For the Power of Attorney document to work efficiently, it will need to be drafted in accordance with the local laws of the country where the Attorney and property are located.

As an example, if you live in Australia but own an apartment in Singapore and would like to appoint a person in that country to manage it, your Power of Attorney document would need to be worded so as to reflect the laws of Singapore rather than Australia.

Usually then, Power of Attorney documents are prepared by lawyers in the country where the document is intended to be used. Once it is prepared, it is sent to Australia in order for it to be signed before a Notary Public.

What about signing requirements for the “Power of Attorney” document?

The requirement as to how the document is to be signed may vary from country to country. It may need to be signed only in front of a Public Notary or alternatively one or more witnesses may be required to be present in addition to the Notary.

Some countries require the Power of Attorney to use a special format or form. One example is India, where a General Power of Attorney may be required to be printed on “bonded” paper or post stamped when printed on white A4 paper after being emailed.

What else needs to be done after “Power of Attorney” document is signed and notarised?

After being notarised by the Notary Public, the document may need to authenticated or stamped with an Apostille by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). This means that along with how the document should be notarised, instructions should be sought whether the Power of Attorney requires an Apostille, Authentication and/or legalisation in order of it to be legally recognised in the country of intended use.

Our firm is experienced in notarising Power of Attorney documents for production in many different countries of the world. We assist clients with many types of documents on a regular basis and are available to help you at your earliest convenience.

Questions? Call 03 8648 6541

How to Book Online (2 Office Locations)

MELBOURNE CITY OFFICE (Extended Business Hours & Sundays)
Level 13, 200 Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
(corner of Queen and Little Bourke Streets)

10 Frank Street, Box Hill South, Victoria 3128
(off Riversdale Road – ring bell at right hand side steps and proceed to rear of property)

What you need to bring: 100 points of ID as well as all documents needing to be notarised.

Please Note: Appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice may incur a fee. Please ensure that you arrive in a timely manner.

Fees: Fees (inclusive of GST) are based on the amount of time it takes for the official Notarial Seal and Signature to be applied to your document(s):

up to 10 Min: $88
15 Minutes: $132
20 Minutes: $176
25 Minutes: $220
30 Minutes: $264

It is constantly said by clients that my fees are most competitive. Please note that if this Office provides a fee estimate based on the information you provide, we reserve the right to charge according to the above fees for the time it actually takes to notarise your document(s).

Residents from Australia can book an instant appointment for Notarial Services by clicking either Blue Box below, depending on the preferred appointment location. You will arrive at a Booking System where you can choose an appropriate appointment time for the Melbourne City Office or the Eastern Suburbs Home Office.

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Updated: May 2019