What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a mandate in which a person appoints another person as his or her representative for the administration of his or her assets or for any other matter. This is very useful, for example, when a person is outside of PR but needs to make arrangements for an inheritance or to buy or sell a property.
It can also be prepared if the person is elderly and wishes to appoint someone to represent him or her in matters relating to his or her affairs. This is known as the Power of Attorney (POA).
What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and an Affidavit?
In general, both documents are sworn but the Power of Attorney is more complete. The Power of Attorney is like an affidavit although, in the form of a deed, that is, in legal size, with more formalities and greater acceptance. Some transactions, such as those related to real estate, for example, the sale of a house, require a Power of Attorney deed.
On the other hand, a simple document consisting of an affidavit can be prepared if it is for matters such as managing an account in a financial institution. In general, the affidavit is also less expensive than a deed.
How long can a Power of Attorney last?
Depends. A General Power of Attorney usually has no expiry date. However, a Special Power of Attorney will expire when the particular business delegated, e.g. a sale or purchase, is completed. On the other hand, if it is a Lasting Power of Attorney, it will remain in force until the person who authorised the Power of Attorney (the "principal") dies or revokes it.
In addition, any Power of Attorney may be terminated by: (1) its revocation; or, (2) the resignation of the attorney-in-fact (i.e., the agent); or, (3) death, bankruptcy, or insolvency of the principal or attorney-in-fact; or, (4) by the principal's inability to administer his or her property (unless a Durable Power of Attorney has been granted).
Who should sign the Power of Attorney?
Only the "principal" is obliged to sign it. In other words, the representative or attorney-in-fact does not have to sign the Power of Attorney, but must obviously be aware that the document will be prepared in his or her name. For this reason, we will need a copy of the identification of both (principal and agent), which can be a driver's licence or passport. This ensures that the names to be included in the Power of Attorney are exactly as they appear on their respective IDs.
What is "Durable" Power of Attorney?
It is a very useful instrument in which an authorization is granted that will remain valid even if the person later becomes mentally incapacitated. In this case, a person in a lucid state can grant a Durable Power of Attorney in favor of a representative of his or her confidence.
It should be noted that the Lasting Power of Attorney will remain valid even if the person subsequently loses his or her mental capacity. This is very useful as it will allow the wishes of the person granting the Power of Attorney for the administration of his or her property to be carried out. Once the person dies, the Power of Attorney automatically loses its validity. This is known as Durable Power of Attorney.
For the Lasting Power of Attorney, it is a requirement to include details of the real estate (flats, houses, fincas, etc.) registered in the applicant's name. Therefore, if you have a copy of the title deeds, it is advisable to include them at the end of the form below. In this way, we will be able to corroborate ownership at the Land Registry as part of the work to be done.
We can prepare a deed for one of the following types of Power of Attorney: General, Special or Durable. If you are in the metropolitan area, we can do the process at your home. If you are outside of Puerto Rico, we can do the entire process online.