So you’re going overseas and you have just bought or sold a property. Can someone else sign the legal documents for you?
Yes, they can. You need to appoint an attorney to act on your behalf during your absence overseas.
If you require someone to sign documents on your behalf, such as your Contract, during your conveyance, a power of attorney is essential.
A power of attorney is a legal document which is made by one person (the principal) giving power to another person (the attorney) to deal with the principal’s financial affairs. This power can include buying or selling property.
Any person over 18 years of age can act as your attorney. Most people appoint either a family member or close friend to act as their attorney. You may also appoint the Public Trustee, or a professional such as an accountant or solicitor, however, professionals will be entitled to charge a fee for acting as your attorney.
There are two forms of power of attorney, a General Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney.
A General Power of Attorney will cease if the principal loses mental capacity whereas, depending upon the options chosen, an Enduring Power of Attorney will start to operate if the principal loses mental capacity. A General Power of Attorney is commonly used for short term appointments, such as when the principal will be overseas for a period of time and needs someone to operate their affairs during their absence from Australia.
In order to purchase or sell a property, the power of attorney must be registered with the Land Titles Office in most states and territories, which requires a fee to be paid. The fees vary between states; for example, in NSW the fee is currently $98, in the ACT $110 and in QLD $152.10. We can arrange for the power of attorney to be registered on your behalf. Please note that the registration fee is additional to our fixed fee for carrying out the conveyancing.
Call us on 1300 136 386 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if we can assist you.