Power of Attorney for India

Are you a resident in the U.S.? Do you have an immovable property in India? Do you want to transfer a power of attorney to someone in India? Do you want a power of attorney for non property matters in India?

What is Power of Attorney?

It is likely that people who have an immovable property in India feel the need to give the power of attorney to someone in India to take care of all the affairs related to the property. Businessmen and industrialists living in the U.S. often have to make decisions that affect operations in India. To solve the problems faced in day-to-day operations, people often delegate their functions to a third party (a family member, business partner, employee, etc). The third party performs functions on their behalf. A power of attorney is a legal document that explains this arrangement between two parties.

Who are the principal and agent?

As a person who is empowering another person to act on your behalf, you will be the principal and the other person is the agent. This is a very serious matter and should be handled with care. Give a power of attorney when absolutely necessary to do so. Remember that your agent will act for you and his actions will have legally binding implications for you. You cannot walk away from the consequences so choose your agent wisely.

Who may need a power of attorney? Type of Power of Attorney

There are two types of power of attorney:

  • General power of attorney
  • Special power of attorney

A general power of attorney is usually a document that allows an agent to act on behalf of his principal for more than one matter. On the other hand, the special power of attorney is created to give an agent power to complete a specific job. The power of attorney ceases to apply once the job is complete. For example, you may give a power of attorney to your nephew to sell a piece of land in Agra and purchase an apartment in New Delhi.

There is no expiration date on a general power of attorney unless otherwise specified. The specific power of attorney expires once the transaction is complete.

If you are in a similar boat, you should consider creating a General or Special Power of Attorney.

Is it possible to revoke a power of attorney?

Of course! The power of attorney can be revoked in the following cases:

  • As a principal you can revoke the power of attorney.
  • You and the agent may mutually agree to revoke the power of attorney as well.
  • You and the agent may mutually agree to revoke the power of attorney once the goal of giving the power of attorney is complete.
  • The power of attorney is automatically revoked in the event of death, bankruptcy, and insanity (principal).

Why is a power of attorney created?

A power of attorney can be created for empowering the agent for:

  • Financial matters.
  • Property related matters.
  • Commercial or Company matters.

If you have a property related or financial matter, please go to the next section. The important issue related to a power of attorney is that it requires two processes for property and financial matters.

  • You have to get the power of attorney notarized.
  • You have to send the power of attorney duly notarized and apostilled to the Indian Consulate near you.

What is apostilling?

You have to get the power of attorney apostilled for commercial and company related matters. An apostilled copy is a certificate from the State officials that the notarized copy of the power of attorney is valid. Usually, this is done by the Authentication Division in the State Department. This is necessary only for commercial and business related matters. After the documents have been 'apostilled', there is no need to get it attested from the Indian Consulate.

How to get a power of attorney? Steps for creating a Power of Attorney

  • STEP 1: Write the power of attorney on plain paper. There is no need to create it on stamp paper from India, subject to conditions.
    Sign the power of attorney. Two witnesses should also sign this document. The addresses of the applicant and witnesses should be typed clearly. All this must be done in the presence of a notary public. You can also get this done at the Indian Consulate as well. All post offices and banks have a public notary too.

  • STEP 2: NECESSARY ONLY FOR COMMERCIAL AND COMPANY MATTERS.
    Send a request for an apostille to the Secretary of State. The Department of State, Authentications Office is responsible for signing and issuing certificates under the Seal of the U.S. Department of State (22 CFR, Part 131. The goal is to provide authentication services to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals (for example, Indians) on documents such as a power of attorney that will be used overseas. For more information on where to apply please visit
    http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=authorities.details&aid=353

  • STEP 3: FOR ALL MATTERS RELATSTEP 3 FOR ALL MATTERS RELATED TO PROPERTY AND FINANCES
    Send the document to the Indian Consulate. If you are submitting the documents in person, you can sign it in the presence of the officer at the Consulate. You should carry your passport as well.
    The attestation service at any Indian Consulate is provided for Indian citizens only. There is one exception. Documents submitted by applicants of other nationalities will be attested only if there is an 'India' connection. This means that the applicant wants to give this document for a transaction in India or it originates from India.

  • STEP 4: Pay the fee at the Consulate. The fee of attestation is as follows:
    • Non-refundable $ 20 (twenty) for each attestation.
    • Non-refundable $ 10 (ten) for attestation of each photograph.
    • Fees should be paid through money order or cashiers' cheque drawn in favor of the 'Consulate General of India, (City of Consulate)'. Personal checks, credit cards or other banking instruments are not accepted. Debit cards are accepted with an additional service fee.
    • The fee is non-refundable.

  • STEP 5: Once your power of attorney is attested by the Indian Consulate/Embassy you can send it to India.

A power of attorney must be wisely created and given to a trustworthy person. The agent must also be very cautious before accepting a power of attorney. A poorly drafted power of attorney may become a bone of contention between the affected parties. If you live in the U.S. and are having a tough time dealing with financial and property related matters in India, it is a good idea to draft a power of attorney!