Is a Power of Attorney Valid Outside the US?

Learn about how Powers Of Attorneys executed abroad can be used in The United States as long as they are recognized as valid and comply with relevant state laws.

Is a Power of Attorney Valid Outside the US?

A Power of Attorney (POA) executed abroad can be used in the United States as long as it is recognized as valid and complies with relevant state laws. The director must sign the POA at a notarized certification appointment at a local U. S. Embassy or Consulate.

Customers have completed real estate and financial transactions in the U. based on a Power of Attorney notarized in Italy by an Italian notary, without the participation of the U. Although this model has been adopted thousands of times in our international practice, we still find some foreign entities, such as financial institutions, title companies or lawyers, that are not familiar with international treaties or conventions and, therefore, reluctant to accept it immediately. In these cases, we explain to them how it works and they realize that there is no legal basis for discriminating between a domestic and a foreign notarization.

If the foreign notarial certification is in a foreign language, a certified translation makes it acceptable in the receiving country. The notaries we use in Italy for this type of agreement prepare the Power of Attorney completely in English, including the notarial block. To comply with Italian legal requirements, the notarial block will also be in Italian. We efficiently carry out all steps from start to finish, including sworn translation in Italy or the U.

We check every step with the parties involved to ensure that everyone is in agreement and satisfied with the process and the details of the document, so there are no surprises at the time of closing. We have worked on the preparation and validation of more than a thousand international powers of attorney. We offer comprehensive services throughout the country adapted to the needs of each case. Generally, a Power of Attorney that is valid when you sign it will remain valid even if you change your status of residence.

Although you shouldn't need to sign a new Power of Attorney simply because you've moved to a new state, it's a good idea to take the opportunity to update your Power of Attorney. Ideally, this update should be part of a review and update of your overall estate plan to ensure that the nuances of the new state law are addressed (and any other changes in circumstances that have occurred since your existing documents were signed). Similarly, an agent who signs documents to buy or sell real estate on your behalf must present the Power of Attorney to the title company. The wording of the Power of Attorney may specify a time limit or contingency when it ceases to be effective.

Although the simplest, and often cheaper, would be to appoint a lawyer in the secondary jurisdiction, it's a good idea to ask your lawyer to give you clear instructions for signing and notarizing your international Power of Attorney. If you don't have a Power of Attorney and can't manage your personal or business affairs, a court may need to appoint one or more people to act on your behalf. Similarly, the agent must present the Power of Attorney to a broker or banker to effect the sale of securities or the opening and closing of bank accounts. It is important for the attorney preparing your Power of Attorney to draft the document in a way that does not expose your de facto attorney to unwanted estate tax consequences.

To cover assets abroad, the Power of Attorney must be broad enough to comply with the laws of the relevant country and the principal's signature must be attested by a notary public. For example, it may be a legal requirement that the Power of Attorney be signed with a specific ink color, or it may require more than one witness. A POA gives legal permission to another person (the “lawyer”) to make decisions and sign documents on behalf of another person; an LPA allows someone to appoint an attorney to handle financial and property matters, or make medical and welfare decisions if someone loses mental capacity. Others, however, in order to train their agent to minimize state wealth tax could continue or add such power.

All legal powers entitled to the client must be clearly mentioned in the Power of Attorney, agreed upon and signed by them. But those with assets abroad may need to appoint an attorney who is familiar with that jurisdiction (e.g., that country's official laws and procedures). For example, if you are going to appoint a Power of Attorney to handle your financial affairs in Vietnam, it must comply with Vietnamese laws. However, in general, your agent should not have to present their Power of Attorney when signing checks on your behalf.

To revoke, cancel or terminate a Power of Attorney before it expires, the principal must sign a revocation document and give a copy of this revocation document to anyone who may have or will be dealing with their agent.