As a notary public, notarising powers of attorney becomes part of my job description. I witness the execution of such document drawn up in different languages on a daily basis.

Sometimes it is necessary for me to ask a translator to get the document translated before I can proceed. I came across a power of attorney drawn up in Russian n and the Russian translator was invited to make a sworn statement relating to the correctness of her translation first.

To be honest, I am impressed by the French ones because the documents are really lengthy and go into great details.

So what is “power of attorney” or “procuraton” (equivalent term in French) or “Poder” (equivalent term in Spanish)? By the way, it is called “Wei Tuo Shu” in Chinese.

A power of attorney is a deed by which one person authorises another to act on his behalf and in his name as his attorney, i.e. as his agent, either generally or in some particular matter. Attorney is someone who is appointed by another to act in his place. He may also be called donee of the power. The person who gives this power is known as the principal or donor. Their relation is one of agency.

By law, a corporate body can also appoint an attorney to act on its behalf. The Powers of Attorney Act 1971 prescribes the modes of execution of deeds by an attorney on behalf of a corporation. Table A to the Companies Act 1985 also provides that the directors may, by power of attorney or otherwise, appoint any person to be the agent of the company for such purposes and on such conditions as they determine, including authority for the agent to delegate all or any of his powers.

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