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Updated on 30 Sep 2020 9.00 AM IST | 4 min read
What Is Power Of Attorney?
Power of attorney is a major decision and should be taken with utmost care. In this, one person grants authority to another person to act on his or her behalf through power of attorney. The person who grants authority is known as principal or maker. The person to whom the authority is granted is known as agent or attorney-in-fact. The principal has the full right to revoke that authority at any time.
It is a legal document governed by the powers of attorney act, 1888. There is no registration procedure for power of attorney. Power of attorney must be registered in the case of immovable property.
In case of India, power of attorney can be authenticated by the registrar or sub-registrar of district or sub-district where principal resides whereas power of attorney can be authenticated by notary public or any court, judge, magistrate, Indian counsel or via counsel or representative of the central government in case it is executed outside India.
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Types of Power of attorney
- General power of attorney – In general power of attorney, principal authorizes the holder of power of attorney to handle his immovable and movable property and gives him the power to take any decision on his behalf.
- Special power of attorney – In special power of attorney, principal authorizes the holder of power of attorney to handle limited activities or rights on his or her behalf.
Who Can Apply for Power of Attorney?
A person who is capable of entering into a contract is eligible to apply for power of attorney. According to the Indian contract act, following persons are not capable of entering into a contract –
- Minors (Below the age of 18 years)
- Person of unsound mind such as Lunatic, Drunkyard etc.
- Persons disqualified by law.
In case the principal becomes incapable to take decision about him or herself, the POA agreement automatically ends.
Who can be appointed under Power of Attorney?
A Person appointed under POA should be a trusted family member, friend or an associate. It is better to choose a trustworthy person like family member, a good friend or a reputable and honest person as POA rather than choosing a not much known or an unknown person. It is very important decision to choose a POA as it is like signing a blank cheque, it should be done with utmost care.
Reasons for drafting power of attorney
There are numerous reasons for drafting a power of authority. Some of them are as follows –
In case you are getting older and want to ensure some representative to handle your affairs.
In case of minor children or other dependents, you want to ensure that children’s should look after properly in the presence of any guardian in the event of incapability to handle your children (Person on the wheel chair) or death.
In case you are in the process of getting a divorce.
In case you are diagnosed with a serious medical problem and you are unable to manage your affairs.
In case you are leaving the country frequently or it’s been difficult for you to reach home or you are travelling for any amount of time.
In case you are the owner of a business or property but incapable (handicapped) to manage it.
POA is only valid if it is signed at the time when the person has a sound mind.
When does POA arrangement comes to an end?
A power of attorney can comes to an end for a number of reasons –
- POA revoked by principal
- POA invalidated by the court
- Death of principal
- Principal divorces his or her spouse happens to be the agent
- Agent unable to carry out the specified responsibilities.