Power of Attorney is a formal document that gives authority to someone else to act on your behalf. Each office or authority will have its own format for power of attorney and formal requisites that must be met.
The Embassy cannot legalize a general power of attorney or affidavit for foreigners. Consular Officers can only notarize specific documents.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney (known as prokura in Thai) is a document that authorizes an individual, known as the Agent to act on behalf of the person who appointed him/her, legally named the Grantor. A power of attorney can be either general, which gives broad powers, or special, which has a limited scope and duration. The law in Thailand prescribes certain formal and substantial fundamentals that the instrument must conform to in order for it to be valid and enforceable, such as being notarized after being signed by both parties.
In some circumstances, it is very important to have a power of attorney in Thailand to deal with a particular matter. For example, if you are buying a property in Thailand and transferring the ownership in your name in the land office, it is a requirement that a power of attorney be provided to the Land Department to represent you in the transaction, this government form is called Tor Dor 21.
General Power of Attorney
Powers of attorney in Thailand can be general, conferring broad powers or specific and limited to certain matters. They must be carefully drafted to ensure that they conform to formal and substantial requisites to be valid and enforceable.
Foreigners often need a general power of attorney to manage their affairs in Thailand, especially when buying property and registering ownership. These documents must be properly drafted and signed in the presence of two witnesses to avoid any questions about their validity. In addition, they should be notarized to give them full legal force in the country.
For land office transactions the local government offices in Thailand only accept the official standard Thai script poa formats provided by the land department for that particular transaction, namely Tor Dor 21 for land and Chor 21 for condominiums. These need to be completed and submitted along with a certified copy of the grantor’s ID card or passport. These poa do not have the same durability as a special or general power of attorney but terminate with the death of the grantor or when the transaction they are representing is completed.
Specific Power of Attorney
A specific power of attorney is a legal document where the person giving the authority, known as the Principal or Grantor, empowers another individual to manage certain transactions or aspects of their private affairs. The individual who is given the power of attorney, or Attorney-in-Fact, is able to act as the representative in the absence of the principal.
The power of attorney can be short term for a specific transaction and can continue (durable power of attorney) in the event of a mental or physical incapacity. It is also often combined with a living will, an advance directive or instructions from the testator, in case he becomes incapacitated.
If you are a foreigner wishing to purchase property in Thailand, your agent will need a special form of power of attorney to represent you at the land office. Our firm can draft and notarize this for you, as well as other documents needed to complete a property transfer in Thailand.
Forms of Power of Attorney
There are different forms of Power of Attorney in Thailand depending on what type of powers you want to grant and it is important to make sure the document meets the requirements set out by the institution or authority where you intend to use it. For example the land department require a specific standard form of POA that they issue, Tor dor 21 for a house or Chor 21 for a condominium, to be used to sell or register property on behalf of the seller.
The law in Thailand stipulates that both the Principal and Agent must be of legal capacity to be able to give or execute the powers specified in the document as well as conform to other formal and substantial requisites. This is why it is always recommended that any such document be drafted by a lawyer. A Power of Attorney can be revoked at any time by the principal. It also expires if the grantor dies or becomes incapacitated.