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Power of Attorney: POA Meaning, Scope, Types and Format

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  • Post published:November 20, 2023
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Last Updated on February 5, 2024 by Kanakkupillai

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that vests the power to act on behalf of another person in a designated individual. Consequently, a POA authorises the agent or the attorney-in-fact to act on behalf of the principal. Decision-making power concerning the principal’s assets, finances, investment, and health care might be granted as broad authority or limited. Financial and healthcare POAs are the two primary categories; both grant the attorney-in-fact broad or restricted authority.

The Power of Attorney’s Objective

An attorney-in-fact or agent’s judgments and acts on behalf of the principal are authorized by a power of attorney. In the meanwhile, the POA shields the parties from avoidable obligations brought on by the other party’s carelessness. The many situations in which you can utilize a power of attorney are listed below: 

  • How to Sign Documents: Your agent will be allowed to sign some documents on your behalf if you have a legally binding power of attorney in place.
  • To Attend Meetings for Property Closing: If you have a power of attorney for assets, your attorney-in-fact may also be present at closing and other estate-related proceedings. 
  • Interaction: Your selected agent is also free to speak with other experts managing your estate or more. 
  • Decision Making: When it comes to the financial power of attorneys, the agent may, to some extent, make significant choices on behalf of the principal. 
  • Medical Decisions: When older people acquire a POA for somebody they respect with their medical choices, this kind of POA is more appropriate for them. 
  • Company Management and Business Transactions: As a company owner, you can assign some business choices to your manager, partner, or other trusted advisor. 
  • Exchanges of Money: You can give your family members a POA to handle your financial transactions if you are away from home for a prolonged period, like a lengthy vacation. 
  • Governmental Registrations: You must provide a professional you hire for registering your trademark in India with the authority to submit the application and complete the registration process on your behalf. This extends to various governmental registrations and trademark and intellectual property registrations. 

Power of Attorney Types

Knowing the varied situations in which you can give another person a power of attorney, it is clear that a single power of attorney form will not be adequate for all of these situations. As a result, India has many kinds of power of attorney. Let’s examine each kind in more detail: 

1. General POA

Conventional POA can also be referred to as a GPA. For any broad purpose—financial or property-based—the GPA is recorded. A general POA is typically necessary when the individual providing the authority is unavailable for a predetermined amount of time. 

2. Specific POA

The grantee ( representative) of a specialized or special power of attorney is only granted restricted authority for a certain period. For instance, let’s say you (the grantor) are buying a home, but you must travel on the day you’re meant to complete the sale deed. In this situation, you can give someone you trust the particular power of attorney to sign the document on your behalf. 

3. Durable POA

A durable POA is still enforceable even if the grantor experiences physical or mental incapacity after signing. Thus, the term “durable.” Nonetheless, there is less of a tendency toward using a lasting POA in India. Specific and general powers of attorney continue to be the most popular. 

4. Medical POA

When someone is sick or old, the medical POA is typically used. Signing a medical POA gives the agent the authority to make all of your life decisions. This includes the authority to decide whether to turn off the life support system, among other things, in nations like the US. 


Non-resident Indians (NRIs) who own property in India are not permitted to travel abroad just for upkeep or financial management. Because of this, they provide the POA to an Indian resident who may handle these on his behalf. 

6. POA for Property

The right kind of POA to execute is a power of attorney for property, which is used when the main names an agent to manage all affairs about their estate and its planning. 

Can more than one Power of Attorney be appointed?

Can an individual appoint more than one PoA? Indeed, a person can choose more than one lawyer and determine whether those attorneys must operate in concert or independently when making a decision. 

Some lawyers truly assist in helping the client make an informed choice by explaining all the benefits and drawbacks. But occasionally, disagreements between several lawyers may cause a delay in making a crucial choice. 

A backup is better than depending solely on one PoA agent. The backup agent can take over if the primary agent becomes ill or is hurt.

Who is eligible to select a Power of Attorney (PoA)?

Selecting a person to serve as a power of attorney (PoA) might be difficult. Regarding eligibility, a dependable, older than eighteen, and mentally competent individual may be chosen to serve as a POA. 

Evaluating someone’s character and value system is critical before appointing them as a POA. The POA nominee must be able to make judgments with conviction and clarity.

How is a Power of Attorney completed?

The POA must be executed at the sub-registrar’s office, which is within the authority of the person granting the power. If the grantor lives overseas, the POA must be utilized within three months of the time of execution. It should also be certified by the Indian embassy there.

When executing a Power of Attorney (POA) for property, an individual who is living overseas (NRI) and wishes to purchase real estate in India can do so in the following ways:

Legalization: This means that the authorized agent of the Indian Embassy or Consulate must validate the signature of the judge or registrar before whom the POA was signed or carried out. In addition, this POA needs to be stamped in India three months after it is received. When the paperwork is submitted in India for registration, the stamp duty on the PoA will be paid.  

Apostillisation: The PoA Act of 1882 or the Indian Registration Act of 1908, among other Indian laws, must be complied with by the apostille, a certificate that attests to and validates the signature or seal of the individual who validated the document (the PoA in this case). The Hague Convention, 1961 governs the apostillization process, which is used to prove a POA signed outside of India.

How do you pick a Power of Attorney (POA)?

The approved POA agent may have limited or broad authority to make choices on the property, savings, and/or medical matters, depending on the specifics of the POA instrument. In addition, a person must be eighteen years old and in good mental health to be appointed as a PoA agent. The advice listed below might be useful while choosing a PoA.

  • Assign a reliable individual to handle your property and financial matters while you’re away. Choosing an agent based on their obligations is another option. The functions that need to be carried out can also be used to determine the type of POA.
  • Anyone may determine POA and the beginning and ending points of power.
  • Online resources offer a variety of POA templates. Adhere to the regulations set forth by your state’s government.
  • The POA can be made with the help of a general or property lawyer.
  • Complete the required forms and affix your signature to any property-related paperwork.
  • Get the signed papers notarized and verified by a lawyer (a property lawyer in the event of property).

General Power of Attorney Sample Format


This General Power of Attorney (the “POA”) is made on [Date] by [Your Full Name], residing at [Your Address].


I, the undersigned, hereby appoint [Attorney-in-Fact’s Full Name], residing at [Attorney-in-Fact’s Address], as my Attorney-in-Fact (the “Agent”), to act on my behalf in all matters and affairs, whether personal, financial, or legal, to the extent permitted by law.


I grant my Attorney-in-Fact the authority to:

  1. Manage, sell, lease, mortgage, or otherwise deal with my real and personal property.
  2. Manage my bank accounts, investments, and financial assets.
  3. Enter into contracts and agreements on my behalf.
  4. Make health care decisions, including consent to medical treatment.
  5. Handle legal matters, including litigation and legal representation.
  6. Perform any other acts necessary to manage and protect my interests.


This Power of Attorney shall be effective immediately upon execution and shall remain in effect unless revoked by me in writing or by my death.


I reserve the right to revoke this Power of Attorney at any time by providing written notice to my Attorney-in-Fact.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have executed this General Power of Attorney on the date first above written.

[Your Full Name and Signature]

STATE OF [State]

COUNTY OF [County]

On this [Date], before me, a Notary Public in and for said county and state, personally appeared [Your Full Name], known to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to the previous instrument, and acknowledged that he/she executed the same for the purposes therein contained.

[Notary Public Signature and Seal]


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