I’m Greg McIntyre of McIntyre Elder Law helping seniors protect their assets and legacies. Today we’re going to talk about International Powers of Attorney and answer the question:
Are Powers of Attorney valid outside the United States of America?
The simple answer is, Yes, they are.
If you wanted us to draft a General Durable Power of Attorney and you asked, ‘Will this still be valid in Guatemala, or the Virgin Islands, or even the British Virgin Islands?’
My answer would be, ‘Yes it will.’
It all goes back to the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention brought about the Hague Compact. Those countries who joined, participated in good faith and agreements to honor each-others civil laws. Powers of Attorney are subject to that compact.
If you are visiting another country where you own property, for example, and you want to designate someone from that country to take care of your property, what do you do?
You can draft the Power of Attorney in the United States, in this case North Carolina, and because of the Hague Compact, you can have the document stamped with the Hague Apostille, which costs about $220 with overnight fees. For that cost, your Power of Attorney will be stamped with the Hague Apostille and will be valid in any country that complies with the Hague Compact.
If a country is not a member of the Hague Compact, you would need to take your Power of Attorney to the consulate or embassy in that country and they should have a method to register the Power of Attorney in that country. That way, it would still be valid in that country.
If you have any questions about Powers of attorney or any other area of estate planning and elder law, please call our office at 704-259-7040 or visit our website mcelderlaw.com.
Elder Law Attorney