Covid-19 and Powers of Attorney

With widespread travel restrictions being implemented, it is becoming increasingly difficult to carry out transactions with an international element such as buying or selling a property abroad, or applying for tax registration.  In these circumstances, it may be worth considering the use of a power of attorney to keep things moving. 

A power of attorney is a document where authority is given to one individual (the grantee) by another (grantor).  This authority will give the grantee authority to carry out actions specified in the power of attorney on behalf of the grantor, therefore removing the need for the grantor to be physically present to carry out these actions themselves.  The power of attorney can be drafted for limited specific actions or more broadly to allow a grantee freedom to deal with all aspects of a transaction.

A Notary can facilitate the use of a power of attorney by conducting several checks with the grantor, including soundness of mind, identification, and authority before bearing witness to the grantor executing the document.  A Notary can also draft the power of attorney so that it suits the grantor and does exactly what the grantor needs it to do.

Caution should always be taken however.  The grantor should first ensure that a power of attorney will be accepted in lieu of their physical presence and should also ensure that the grantee understands the power of attorney are capable and trusted to carry out the wishes of the grantor.