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 a “Power of Attorney”?
Authorising a person to act on your behalf is a common practice in South-Africa 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 South-Africa, 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.
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 South-Africa but own an apartment in the United States of America 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 the United States rather than South-Africa.
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 South-Africa 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.
What else needs to be done after the”Power of Attorney” document is signed and notarised?
After being attested and notarised by the Notary Public, the document may need to authenticated or stamped with an Apostille. 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 embassy legalisation in order of it to be legally recognised in the country of intended use.
Louwrens Koen Attorneys 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.
The fees for a attestation by a notary and legalisation is the amount of R650.00 which will include the consultation with the notary, notarisation and attestation certificate as well as the further legalisation by means of apostille certificate or authentication depending on the destination country.
Please bring along the Power of Attorney, Affidavit, or form that needs to be signed in front of the Notary as well as an identity document or passport for the Notary to be able to identify you.
Appointment Location: Appointments can be instantly booked online for both offices, either:
How to order our notarial attestation service
1. Personally Attend at our Offices-We have a Notary Public in attendance at our Pretoria office from 8.00 am to 15h30 pm Monday to Friday to attest and notarise documents and to personally accept orders for all Apostille Certificates and Embassy legalisations.
Please book an appointment or contact us to make sure the notary is available.