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25 June 2021

A guide to foreign Powers of Attorney: How our notaries can assist you

Are you based in England or Wales, but need to deal with business matters abroad?

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

foreign powers of attorney

By Sadiqul Islam, Legal Intern

A Power of Attorney is a legal instrument that you sign that authorises another person (or possibly multiple people) to act on your behalf and manage your financial and/or business affairs. It might also be handed to a lawyer. The most prevalent reasons to appoint Powers of Attorney are for financial or medical reasons. 

It is normal practice to authorise special Powers of Attorney abroad by signing a Power of Attorney document. If the document is being signed for use in another nation, it must be notarised by a Notary Public in order to be accepted there.

When they are unavailable to sign essential documents in person, many people delegate Power of Attorney to another individual. The authorised person, known as an Attorney, can only act on your behalf in accordance with the terms of the Power of Attorney form.

When selling or buying property outside of the UK, for example, people frequently award a Power of Attorney to a person in the same nation where the property is or will be situated. This makes it easier for them to handle the selling or purchasing process because they will not have to fly to the nation to sign contracts or resolve difficulties that emerge.

How should the document be formatted?

It is critical that the document is properly produced in accordance with your instructions and the local legislation in the jurisdiction where it will be recognised. To be effective, the Power of Attorney paperwork must be designed in line with the local laws of the nation in which the Attorney and property are situated.

For example, if you reside in the United Kingdom but own an apartment in China and want to nominate someone in that country to manage it, your Power of Attorney paperwork must be structured to reflect Chinese law rather than the British law.

Typically, Power of Attorney documents are drafted by attorneys in the nation where the document is to be utilised. Once completed, it is forwarded to be signed in front of a Notary Public.

The manner in which the paper must be signed may differ from nation to nation. It may be necessary to sign it merely in front of a Public Notary, or it may be necessary to have one or more witnesses present in addition to the Notary. In certain nations, the Power of Attorney must be in a certain format or form. 

For some countries like Romania, the Power of Attorney document has to be translated into the official language of that country if it is written in any other language in order for it to be valid. Then it needs to be certified in the presence of a public notary. In some cases, an apostille from the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade is necessary for the document to be recognised in that country. 


If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services,
contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 or email

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services, contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 or email