A power of attorney is the legal authorisation of a person (appointee) to act on the behalf of another (donor) in business, judicial or personal affairs. Authorisation is granted by the donor. The appointee may be anyone of the donor’s choosing, aged 18 years or older.
There are several different kinds of power of attorney. These include:
• General – allows the appointee to conduct any kind of business, on the donor’s behalf.
• Limited – allows the appointee to perform only specified acts on the donor’s behalf.
• Springing – allows the appointee to act on the donor’s behalf upon the occurrence of a specific event, such as the donor becoming physically or mentally disabled.
Situations that require a power of attorney include:
1. When the donor is unable to make informed health decisions because of mental or physical limitations. In such cases, a power of attorney is arranged before the donor develops such limitations.
2. When a land or business owner resides overseas and is unable to travel to the country where the land or business is located to manage the property or enterprise.
3. When the child of a donor will temporarily be living away from his or her parent(s) and in the custody of a guardian.
Arranging a Power of Attorney
When arranging a power of attorney these steps are to be followed:
1. The document should be drafted by the donor or a qualified legal practitioner, and should:
a. Outline the names of the participants as well as the conditions and duration of the agreement.
b. Be signed by the donor and the appointee and verified by a Justice of the Peace (JP). The JP should also affix his or her seal to the document.
c. Be stamped by the Inland Revenue Department and the requisite stamp duty paid.
d. Be registered at the Island Records Office at the Registrar General’s Department and the registration fees paid.
After these steps are completed, the applicant will be given the date for pick-up of the registered power of attorney document.
The power of attorney is valid from registration until the stated end date, or until:
1. The task assigned to the appointee is completed.
2. The donor decides to terminate the agreement.
3. The donor dies.
For additional information, please contact the:
Registrar General’s Department
Twickenham Park (Head Office)
Telephone: 876-749-0550, 876-619-1260
Ministry of Justice
61 Constant Spring Road
Phone: 876-906-4923-31, 876-301-3276, 876-298-6804