Power of Attorney is a legal authority which gives a person, or agent, the power to act for any other person, known as principal. The agent can be given more or limited authority to make decisions about the principal’s property, investments and finances. The POA is used when the principal owner can’t be present to sign the necessary documents. A Power of Attorney stays in effect if the Principal becomes disabled and can’t act personally. A Power of Attorney can come to an  end due to many reasons such as when the owner revokes the agreement , a court invalidates it or when the agent is no more able to carry out the responsibilities. In the case if the principal and agent are husband and wife, the authority of agent becomes invalid if they get a divorce. Section 1A of The Power of Attorney Act, 1882 includes any instrument empowering a specific person to act in the name of another person. A Power of Attorney holder is called agent According to section 182 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. This arrangement of Power of Attorney works best for the Non Resident Indians (NRIs) who cannot be present in India to take decisions and physically manage their property.  

Types of Power of Attorneys

1.Special Power of Attorney

In this arrangement the powers of the attorney or agent is limited to a specific or particular purpose. Special POA is generally task specific and finishes after the task is completed. For example if the Principal gives attorney the right to rent the property for any purpose, then the powers of the agent will be limited to that specific task only.

2. General Power of Attorney

In General Power of Attorney, the agent is provided with wide powers as to take important decisions for the property in the absence of Principal. An Agent in general POA carries out different tasks related to the property such as financial transactions, buying insurance, filing taxes, buying and selling property etc.

3. Durable Power of Attorney

The durable POA can remain in force for lifetime until the principal annuls it. But in the case when the Principal owner is not in sound mind or is physically and mentally incapable of carrying out any task related to the property, then the Power of Attorney will remain in the hands of agent.

Risks associated with Power of Attorney

It is very important to get a trustworthy agent as he is going to have the possession of your property and all important decisions will be taken by him/her.  Also the agent should report to a trustworthy third party such as an accountant or Lawyer. Also, all the other parties to which the agent is going to interact, should be first checked by the principal so that agent does not face any problem in his absence. There should be a proper interaction between the agent and principal on regular basis as to ensure the transparency of risks and benefits associated with the property. The POA is a very powerful tool and should be used correctly and carefully.

Power of Attorney for NRIs

An NRI have not to be in India during the execution of a POA. The registration of Power of Attorney can be done from any country through the Indian Embassy. Following are the points which every NRI should keep in mind while executing the Power of Attorney:

The POA can be executed in 2 ways outside India


The notarising of a POA from an authorised officer in the Indian Embassy is essential as per Section 3 of the Diplomatic and Consular Officers Act, 1948. Also the POA should be stamped within three months after it is received in India. 


The Apostalisation process is regulated by the Hague Convention, 1961. A certificate is required which confirms the signature of the person who executed the deed. Also such deeds should be in Accordance with the Indian Law.


As per the Indian Registration Act, 1908, the registration of Power of Attorney is not compulsory until it is executed for the sale of an immovable property. The deed should be registered with office of sub- registrar of the area in which the Attorney resides.


The Power of Attorney is only valid until the principal is alive. The owner can cancel or revoke the POA at any time according to his will. Also the POA will become invalid if the principal is declared insolvent or bankrupt.


When the powers are vested in the hands of agent, the liability and accountability is also transferred to him/her. In case of any fraud committed by the agent, the Principal will not be held accountable. An Power of Attorney is really a nice way by which the Indians residing in  other countries can manage their estate in India.

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