Are you residing in the U.S.? Do you own immovable property in India? Are you looking to transfer the Power of Attorney to someone in India? If yes, then stay attached to this article. We will be providing a complete guide to resolve all your issues related to the Power of Attorney.
Let’s start the discussion, and First of all, let’s explore what Power of Attorney is.
What is the Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document. It gives the ability to a person (an agent or an attorney-in-fact) to sort out financial and other such matters on behalf of a principal (some other person). A power of attorney allows your appointed agent to take legal decisions related to:
- Financial Matters
- Property Related Issues
- Medical Care Problems
And some other issues
A Power of Attorney comes into play at the event of the principal’s illness or disability, or his unavailability to sign necessary legal documents for financial transactions.
An Attorney-in-fact is an agent who is resolving your issues on your behalf. As you are unavailable to solve your matters yourself, so, you will assign a Power of Attorney to an agent.
Your appointed agent will look after all your matters, and his actions will have legally binding implications for you. You cannot walk away from the consequences.
Hence, it is an extremely critical decision to choose the right attorney-in-fact for you. Your attorney-in-fact will have full control over your finances. So, you must trust the agent altogether. Be extremely wise in choosing your attorney-in-fact
Types of Power of Attorney.
There are four major types of powers of attorney. Their names and a brief description is given below:
It permits someone else to act in your stead for a very limited purpose.
It is a comprehensive POA and gives your agent almost all the powers and rights that you have yourself.
A Durable POA can either be general or limited. However, it remains in effect as soon as you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney remains inapplicable until your death unless you reject it.
A springing POA allows your agent to look into your matters if you become incapacitated. However, it does not become effective until you are incapacitated.
How Does the Power of Attorney End?
- A Power of Attorney ends for several reasons. Some of these are listed below:
- In case of the death of the principal
- As a principal, you can end the POA
- The court invalidates the POA
- You and the agent can mutually agree to end the Power of Attorney
- The principal divorces his/her spouse, who happens to be the agent or the agent can no longer carry out the outlined responsibilities.
What is Apostilling?
An apostilled copy is a certificate issued from the State officials. It assures that the notarized copy of the POA is valid. A power of attorney must be apostilled for commercial and company-related matters.
Usually, apostilling is done by the Authentication Division in the State Department. However, this is required only for commercial and business-related matters. Once the documents have been ‘apostilled,’ there is no need to get it attested from the Indian Consulate.
Who can Get your document Apostilled?
To get your POA apostilled, either you have to go to any secretary of state office, or you can ask anyone to go on your behalf.
You don’t need to be present there physically. There are people available who provide notary services, and they will do this job for you by charging some extra money. Furthermore, you can also post these docs to the secretariat.
How to Get Power of Attorney?
Now let’s come to the main agenda. The following steps will help you to have a detailed idea of how to get Power of Attorney.
1. Write the Power of Attorney on a Plain Sheet of Paper
First of all, write a Power of Attorney on a plain piece of paper and sign it. Do not print it out on an Indian stamp paper as it is not valid in the U.S. Along with you; two witnesses are also needed to sign on this document.
Make sure that the data of the witnesses is written clearly.
2. Get an Apostille from the Secretary of State
In case you are dealing with some commercial and company matters, you have to send a request to get an apostille from the Secretary of State. Otherwise, you can skip this step.
Authentications Office is responsible for issuing certificates under the Seal of the U.S. Department of State. Their objective is to provide authentication services to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals for documents such as a Power of Attorney and others that will be used overseas.
3. Send the Documents to Indian Consulate
Once you are done with the apostille process, now send your documents to the Indian Consulate. There is no need to make a special appointment to visit the Consulate. Applicants can visit The Consulate on any working day between 9 AM -12 Noon.
The service will be provided based on first come, first serve. Don’t forget to carry your passport and a copy of the POA Notarized and apostilled along with you.
Attach the Application Form
Moreover, download the Miscellaneous Application form from the consulate website from where you intend to apply and complete the application form. Make sure to pin the following documents with the application form:
- Photocopy of the previous and current passports
- Proof of your U.S. Visa Status
To give evidence, you can provide any of the following documents:
- Photocopy of the page containing your visa on the passport (H1B, H4, etc.)
- Photocopy of Green Card
- Employment Authorization Document (Work Permit)
However, if the approval copy of these notices is pending then attach a handwritten note detailing the efforts being taken to regularize the status
- Proof of current U.S. residence address:
Provide a copy of any one of the following as proof of your current residence in the U.S.
- U.S. Driving license.
- Water or landline telephone bill depicting the applicant’s address
- House Lease Agreement
- State Identification Card
Note: Bank/credit card or mobile phone statements are not accepted as residence proof
Carry originals of all the supporting documents with you as you may be asked to show those to Consular Officer. If you are unable to display the original documents, then bring a notarized copy of the attached documents.
Make sure that the notarized copy is legible. Otherwise, Consulate may ask to present the original documents. However, the passport and the apostilled document (which is to be attested) should be displayed in the original.
Indian Consulate provides attestation services to Indian citizens only. However, there lies an exception to this rule. Documents submitted by applicants of other nationalities will be acceptable only if the applicant wishes to give his documents for a transaction in India, or it originates from India.
4. Pay the fee at the Consulate.
The fee of attestation is as follows:
- Non-refundable $20 for each attestation.
- Non-refundable $10 for attestation of each photograph.
- $2 for the Indian Community Welfare Fee.
If you wish to receive the attested documents back through mail, send a trackable pre-paid return mailing envelope.
The fee has to be paid through money order or cashiers’ check drawn in favor of the ‘Consulate General of India. Personal checks, credit cards, or other banking transactions are not allowed. However, debit cards are acceptable, but and the additional service fee is deducted.
5. Send your Power of Attorney to India
As soon as the process is complete and the Indian Consulate has attested your power of attorney, you can send it to India.
Again, be very careful and make sure to hand over a power of attorney to a trustworthy person. The attorney-in-fact must be a responsible and cautious person.
A slight mistake or irresponsibility may become a bone of contention between the affected parties.
If you live in the U.S. and are finding it challenging to deal with your financial or other property-related issues in India, it is recommended to draft a Power of Attorney today.