Power of Attorney for India
- What is Power of Attorney?
- Who are the principal and agent?
- When do you need a power of attorney and what are the different types?
- Is it possible to revoke a power of attorney?
- Why is a power of attorney created?
- What is apostilling?
- Steps for creating a Power of Attorney
What is Power of Attorney?
If you are abroad and need a reliable person in lieu of yourself to execute decisions and act on your behalf, you will need someone to delegate these functions to – a third party who could be a family member, business partner, or an employee. A power of attorney is a legal document that explains this arrangement between these two parties.
A power of attorney can be created to empower the agent for:
- Financial matters.
- Property related matters.
- Commercial or Company matters.
As a person who is empowering another person to act on your behalf, you will be the principal and the person you assign as the power of attorney is the agent. 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.
When do you need a power of attorney and what are the different types?
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 on more than one matter. There is no expiration date on a general power of attorney unless otherwise specified. 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 transaction is completed.
Yes, 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).
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.
Steps for Creating a Power of Attorney
- STEP 1: Write the power of attorney on plain paper.
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
- STEP 3: FOR 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:FEES 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.
- $3 for the Indian Community Welfare Fee.
- Fees should be paid through money order or cashiers’ check 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 today!