Power of Attorney: (From making to Executing All-in-one Guide)

Power of Attorney (Mukhtar Nama)

In today’s blog post, you will learn about Power of Attorney (POA) and everything you need to know about it.
If you want to know:

  • What is a Power of Attorney?
  • Kinds of power of attorney?
  • What is a General Power of Attorney?
  • What is a Special Power of Attorney?
  • What is a Legal Power of Attorney?
  • Legal terms used for Power of Attorney
  • How can an Overseas Pakistani sell his property through power of attorney in Pakistan while living abroad?
  • How does a Pakistani sell his property through POA in Pakistan being in Pakistan?

Then you will love this ultimate post.
Are you ready?
Let’s get started.

IN THIS POST:

What is Power of Attorney?

power of attorney (POA) or letter of attorney is a written authorization to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, or other legal matters. The person authorizing the other to act out is the principalgrantor, or donor (of the power). The one authorized to act out is the agent, attorney, or in some jurisdictions, the attorney-in-fact.   

Sources: Wikipedia: Power of Attorney

In other words:

Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document that authorizes a person to represent or act on someone else’s behalf. It is a written statement declaring that Person A authorizes Person B to decide on behalf of person A, especially in legal matters.

The Power of Attorney, also known as Mukhtar Nama, is used by a litigant (donor/executant/principal) to authorise a designated individual (donee/agent) to represent them in legal matters.

The Power of Attorney (POA) can also be used when the litigant is an overseas Pakistani and has to send a representative in their place in their home country. 

The Power of Attorney Act, of 1882 defines it as: 

“The donee [Executant] of a power-of-attorney may, if they think fit, execute or do any assurance, instrument or thing in and with his own name and signature, and his own seal, where sealing is required, by the authority of the donor of the power; and every assurance, instrument, and thing so executed and done, shall be as effectual in law as if it had been executed or done by the donee of the power in the name, and with the signature and seal, of the donor thereof.”

Types of Power of Attorney in Pakistan

There are two kinds of Power of Attorney: 

  • General Power of Attorney (Mukhtar Nama)
  • Special Power of Attorney (Mukhtar Nama Khas)
  • Legal Power of Attorney (Vakalat Nama)

General Power of Attorney 

General Power of Attorney (aka Mukhtar Nama Aam) may perform more than one job on behalf of the Principal. All his acts will be binding on the Principal as done by him and under his authority.

Special Power of Attorney 

Special Power of Attorney (aka Mukhtar Nama Khas) is for a specific purpose which is explained in the deed of Special Power of Attorney.

Legal Power of Attorney

The Legal Power of Attorney, known as Vakalat Nama in the local language, is a document submitted by a person’s lawyer in court to inform that they will be representing the person in a particular case.

In contrast to the general power of attorney, a special power of attorney authorises an agent with limited legal authority.

It is a specific or limited type of letter of attorney which allows an attorney-in-fact to make decisions on behalf of the principal in a specific situation only. 

Here are a few situations in which a special letter of attorney is normally used.

  • To authorise a family member to take care of your property when you are away;
  • To authorise someone to maintain/sell your possessions when you are not around.

It is relevant to mention here that power of attorney either General or Special given by the Principal to the Attorney must be in writing and it cannot be given orally. 

If a Power of Attorney (POA) is for any immovable property, sale or mortgage then it should be registered under section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908.

Power of Attorney Should Be Attested: 

All the documents written as a Power of Attorney should be authenticated by a Notary Public, any Court, Judge, Magistrate, Pakistan Consulate or Vice-Consulate, or a representative appointed by the Federal Government, and then it will be presumed correct.

Essential requirements of Power of Attorney: 

Every Pakistani citizen who is a major, adult and according to law is competent to enter into a contract whether resides in Pakistan or outside Pakistan (Overseas Pakistani means living abroad) may authorize any other person through power of attorney to act on his behalf. 

If power of attorney is executed outside the country, then the Pakistani Embassy or consulate’s authorized officer will verify it.

If the power of attorney relates to the transfer of property, then it should be registered in Pakistan with the concerned Registrar.

Legal Terms of Power of Attorney : (You should Know them.)

Here are some legal terms related to the power of attorney that you should know:

Principal/Donor/Grantor 

Someone who grants limited or broad legal authority to another person to make decisions or act on his behalf.

Agent/Attorney-in-Fact 

A person who has the power to act out for another person (the principal) according to a specific power of attorney. As stated above, an agent or Attorney-in-fact either possesses the limited or broad legal authority to make decisions regarding the principal’s possessions, finances and other legal matters.

Power of Attorney in Civil Cases: 

Civil cases can be pursued through power of attorney i.e. 

  • to appear in court; 
  • to move the application; and 
  • to proceed in the matter. 

In civil cases, the Attorney can do every act on behalf of the Principal. Service of summons/notices of the court on the Attorney will be presumed to be served on the Principal. 

For all these matters, no court will allow the Attorney to act on behalf of the Principal unless Power of Attorney is there. 

Civil and Criminal liabilities of Principal and Attorney

Civil liability of Principal; if in the performance of acts according to the power of attorney, the third party suffers a loss then the Principal will be responsible subject to authorizing for the same act in the power of attorney.

Civil liability of Attorney; in case of any action for which he is not authorized, he will be responsible for the losses that occurred to the third party based on such actions.

Criminal liability of Principal and Attorney: 

Criminal liability of Principal: under normal circumstances, the Principal will not be responsible for the criminal acts of the Attorney. 

Criminal responsibility of the Attorney: if the Attorney is found guilty of breach of trust then he can be preceded under sections 406 and 409 of the Pakistan Penal Code and be punished.

Cancellation of Power of Attorney: 

The Principal can cancel the Power of Attorney whether General or Special at any time or in case of the death of the Attorney or the Principal, it will be cancelled automatically. 

In the first instance, the concerned Registrar where Power of Attorney is registered will cancel it and it will also be published in a newspaper. 

Power of Attorney will also be cancelled if the job/assignment for which it was given is completed.

Fact: A person can revoke a letter of attorney whenever they want, as long as they are mentally competent. The revocation should be presented in front of a notary public in the form of a written document signed by an attorney.

And then it should be delivered to the authorised agent and third parties (like banks, legal agencies, etc.).

The attestation and verification of power of attorney are done in front of a notary public

In Fact: A notary public is an official appointed by the government to witness the attestation and verification of important legal documents to help deter fraud.

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