Powers of attorney for use in India

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My clients will receive a draft power of attorney with a request that it be signed.  Signing instructions are not always also received and in those cases, I need to make careful checks of what steps should be taken.

When Avarna and her sister came to see, they had clear instructions that the document needed to have a photograph of each of them (as donors of the power) signed by me, to confirm it was a true and present likeness of them.  I had also had to certify their passports as well as attest their signatures to the document.  No apostille was required.

By contrast, when Mr Singh came to me, his document required that a photograph of the donee of the power of attorney be attached to the document; Mr Singh was convinced that the document would require legalisation at the India High Commission in London; but, we were able to establish that step was no longer required by reason of India having become a signatory to an international convention, which means that an apostille applied by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) is sufficient.  Another pitfall I watch out for is what the signing instructions say about witnesses. Sometimes, it is not permitted for a notary also to act as a witness.

On occasion, as well as the notary, a power of attorney for India must also be signed by two independent witnesses.  Whenever a power of attorney for India is needed, I will check carefully, with your help, to make sure we both know exactly what is required.