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The Power of Attorney is a legal document voluntarily entered into by two parties and duly certified by a notary public, usually a lawyer. The first and second party in the Power of Attorney are: the Principal and the Agent,respectively. In the power of attorney, the principal appoints the agent to perform a task in a legal capacity in his lieu.
The power of attorney empowers the agent to act upon any legal circumstance necessary of the principal, mostly if the latter cannot conduct with others, his legal affairs in person. This scenario happens in most cases, when the principal is gone from his domicile or away on a business trip for a lengthy period; or worse, if the principal is ill.
The power of attorney likens the agent as that of an employee as well as representative of the principal. Another popular term for the authorized agent in a power of attorney is Attorney-in-Fact.
The principal and agent who execute an agreement such as the power of attorney could either be an individual, partnership, or corporation. Both parties who execute the power of attorney should of course, possess legal capacity which means that parties must be 18 years of age or older and of normal mental capability.
When the principal authorize the agent in the power of attorney, the agent does act within the scope of the legal agreement. Therefore, the principal is also responsible for the acts that the agent entered into, in his behalf. In the exercise of the power of attorney, the agent is entitled to payment for services rendered and reimbursement for some of his expenses.
A most common use for the power of attorney is when the principal enters into a transaction such as the purchase of a real estate property. The agent, by virtue of the power of attorney, deals with the company, or owner of the property until the sale is consummated. Thus, the agent pays for and signs all the legal documents necessary (such as purchase application form, contract to sell, deed of restriction, etc.) for the business venture between the principal who is the buyer, and the property owner who is the seller.
Normally, the power of attorney is revocable or can be cancelled at any time. As such, the principal has only to accomplish the revocation of the power of attorney and again, have the cancellation duly certified by a notary public. The power of attorney also becomes null and void upon the death of the principal.
The role of the notary public in the power of attorney is vital and akin to a third force. The power of attorney becomes a legal instrument only if the notary public or solicitor, has certified the power of attorney to be so. The notary public then has to furnish copies of the notarized power of attorney to the concerned government agency that requires it. Thereafter, the power of attorney becomes a legal public document.