Using a UK Power of Attorney Overseas? All You Need To Know

Having businesses, property or other assets overseas can be stressful if you're unable to travel. During lockdown, we saw a huge increase in the number of people preparing Powers of Attorney in order to pass management of their assets on to someone in-country. If you're doing this for the first time, what do you need to be aware of?

In this article

What We’ll Cover

  • What a Power of Attorney is

  • Who can witness the POA with you

  • What can impact the document validity

  • How to prepare your POA for use overseas

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney, or POA, is an agreement in which you pass control over named assets on to your nominated attorney, or attorneys if you appoint more than one person. You can stipulate what powers are given to the attorney and, if you choose, how long it will last.

You are only passing management of the assets over to the nominates parties, not ownership, but it’s still very important that you trust the person or persons to act in your best interests.

Creating a POA can be very useful if you hold property, businesses or finances in another country and feel it would be beneficial for you to have someone in-country to have a managerial role. If there are decisions to be made when you are overseas, your attorney can handle these for you in a legal capacity. This can also include handling a sale of property on your behalf.

Do I need to have a witness to sign my POA?

When you create a POA, you must provide your signature on the document. It must also be witnessed by another party, who will co-sign the document with you. Who can witness you signing the document and co-sign with you depends on where it will be presented.

For example, if you are in the UK and appoint an attorney in the UAE to manage your property for you over there, you must legalise the document before it will be legally recognised in the UAE. In order for your signature on the POA to be valid and accepted for legalisation by the Emirati authorities, you must sign the document with a UK solicitor, who will also sign it with you.

If you are presenting a POS in China, however, this is not necessary. Anyone can be a witness to your signature.

Does it matter what the POA is being used for?

The purpose of the document can have an impact on who must sign the document, as well as who can be a witness. In some rare cases, it can also affect the legalisation process.

If you are creating a POA for use in Egypt in order to transfer property, the Egyptian Consulate in the UK will no longer legalise these documents. Recent changes in regulations have resulted in the property of sale, including the creation and legalisation of the POA, now being handled entirely within Egypt, even if you are based within the UK.

The UAE differentiate between a Power of Attorney for personal use and company use. The process of preparing the document is the same, but the legalisation differs slightly. There is an increased surcharge at the UAE Embassy in order to legalise a company document.

How do I make it legally recognised overseas?

It is likely you will need to have the document legalised. This is a process of applying for a series of official government stamps to the back of your document, to state that it is genuine. Once all of the necessary steps have been completed, it will then be legally recognised in the destination country.

If you would like advice on using your POA overseas, chat to our team via our live chat system, send us a text message via WhatsApp or give us a call on 0330 088 1142 or send us a text message on .

key takeaways

Key Takeaways

Using a Power of Attorney overseas can affect how it should be prepared with in the UK, as well as require additional steps after the POA has been signed and witnessed. To make sure your POA will be accepted for the purposes you require, it’s best to check with a professional before you begin the process if you intent to present it abroad. This can save you time and additional expenses in the long run!

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Melanie Clarke
Melanie is a Digital Marketer and TEFL Specialist at Vital Consular. Before taking up a Marketing role, she spent 3 years building up a rich knowledge of global legalisation processes on the operations team. When she's not working, Melanie enjoys attending music events and pursuing many creative interests including screen printing and merchandise design.
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