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Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney Application Form

Power of Attorney - Planning Ahead is Your Greatest Advantage!

Power of Attorney is a legal document by which you, or the “Principal”, declare another person or a group of individuals as your legal representative(s), or the “Agent(s)”, also known as “Attorney-in-Fact”, and hence grant them the right to act on your behalf, to sign your name on legally binding documents, such as contracts, agreements, deeds, etc., either in all cases or only within the scope of granted powers. Various types of Power of Attorney documents allow for more flexibility in granting specific rights to the “Agent”, as well as restricting the “Agent” to perform only specific actions, within the outlined scope of the granted authorization. At the same time, Power of Attorney document can assign broad, and even unlimited, powers to the “Agent”. Depending on the circumstances, you may choose to allow two or more people to act as your legal representatives, by requiring that in the order for the documents signed on your behalf to have legally binding power; these documents should be signed only jointly by all appointed “Agents”. However, no matter what type of a situation you are facing, and also whether you are planning to grant full or limited powers to the appointed “Agent(s)”, the most important thing to bear in mind is that this should always be a person or an organization whom you trust the most. The “Agent” may be a close family member, one of your friends, your legal advisor(s) or even a bank and a similar agency.

It is of outmost importance to understand the difference between the various types of the Power of Attorney which may be available to you. When planning to use the document outside of the United States it might not be a bad idea to arrange with your representative in the target country to have the document prepared for you or contact the local consulate of such country to verify the requirements, as many foreign jurisdictions may have their unique requirements as to how such instruments should be drafted in terms of wording, spacing and even dating the document. For instance, in Russia it is a must to have the date of the document spelled out.

Types of Power of Attorney Documents

On a very basic level, there are two main types of Power of Attorney documents. These are: General Power of Attorney and Special Power of Attorney documents.

The General Power of Attorney document refers to a legal instrument that grants unlimited in scope and duration powers to the “Agent(s) by allowing the appointed individual or an organization to act as your legal representative and to make decisions on your behalf in all legal and financial matters, until such time as the Power of Attorney is revoked or expired.

The Special Power of Attorney document identifies the limits to be imposed upon the “Agent(s)”, hence restricting the scope and/or duration of that person’s or entity’s powers to as much as a single type of conduct or a certain transaction. The limited in duration Power of Attorney documents specify an expiration date after which the document becomes invalid. While the limited in scope Power of Attorney documents grant the “Agent” rights to engage in a specific, for instance, a financial or real estate, transaction on the behalf of the “Principal”.



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