Power of Attorney in Thailand: A Guide for Foreigners
As a foreigner living in Thailand, you may need to delegate legal authority to another person to act on your behalf in various transactions or situations. This is where a Power of Attorney (POA) comes in handy. A POA is a legal document that grants authority to an Attorney-in-fact (the person who will be acting on your behalf) to perform certain acts or functions on behalf of the Principal (you).
Thailand has two main types of POAs- General Power of Attorney (GPA) and Special Power of Attorney (SPA).
This guide will provide comprehensive information on POAs in Thailand, including their types, requirements, and validity periods.
- Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants authority to another person to act on your behalf in Thailand.
- POAs can be used in many situations, such as purchasing a condo and dealing with certain banking matters.
- Certain POAs for specific matters must follow official templates.
- Thailand has two main types of POAs: General Power of Attorney (GPA) and Special Power of Attorney (SPA).
- The validity period of a POA in Thailand is generally up to three months.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal instrument that authorizes another person to act on your behalf in various situations. It is a written document in which the Principal delegates legal authority to an Attorney-in-fact to perform specific acts or functions. The POA can be general or special, depending on the scope of authority delegated to the Attorney-in-fact.
Types of Power of Attorney in Thailand
There are two main types of POAs in Thailand:
- General Power of Attorney (GPA) and
- Special Power of Attorney (SPA).
A GPA grants broad legal authority to the Attorney-in-fact to perform any act that the Principal can legally perform. An SPA, on the other hand, is limited to specific acts or functions that the Attorney-in-fact is authorized to perform.
What are the Requirements for a Power of Attorney in Thailand?
For a POA to be valid in Thailand, it must meet certain requirements:
- The Principal and Attorney-in-fact must be legally capacitated and able to execute or give the powers enumerated in the POA.
- The POA must also conform to all other formal and substantial requisites of law to be considered valid and enforceable.
- In certain situations, a POA may need to include notarization of the instrument after both parties sign it. Furthermore, in real estate transactions, the POA forms must be submitted to the local Land Office and a certified copy of the Grantor’s ID card or passport bearing duty stamps in the required amount.
How long is a Power of Attorney Valid in Thailand?
The validity period of a POA in Thailand is generally up to three months from the date it was signed. It is essential to ensure that the validity period of the POA is sufficient to cover the transactions or situations for which it was intended.
Thai Government and POAs
Thai government departments require using their own standard POA formats for specific transactions between people other than the owner or principal. For instance, if someone else is selling or registering ownership of your condo unit in Thailand on your behalf, you must use a Government template. You would not be able to use a POA drafted by a Thai lawyer despite the POA being properly witnessed. These government POAs are non-durable special or limited POAs to be used for a specific transaction and a specific property, business registration, or other matters.
When can you use a Power of Attorney?
You can benefit as a foreigner living in Thailand by delegating legal authority to another person through a POA. For instance, you can have someone act on your behalf in various transactions or situations, even if you are not in Thailand.
Some Examples of when a Power of Attorney may be used:
- Property Transactions: A Power of Attorney (POA) can be useful when a foreigner is considering buying or selling real estate, signing rental agreements, or managing property investments.
- Business Operations: Foreign entrepreneurs or investors who cannot be physically present in Thailand can grant a POA to a trusted representative to manage business operations, sign contracts, negotiate deals, or handle financial matters.
- Bank and Financial Transactions: A POA can empower someone to manage banking transactions, including opening and closing accounts, making withdrawals or deposits, and conducting financial transactions on behalf of the foreigner. Please note that POAs cannot be used in certain situations, such as adding a signatory to a Bank account. In such a situation, a Director may need to be present.
- Legal Proceedings: When a foreigner is involved in legal proceedings, a POA can authorize someone to represent them in court, attend hearings, and handle legal documentation.
- Immigration and Visa Matters: A foreigner who cannot handle immigration and visa-related matters personally can appoint an Attorney-in-fact to deal with immigration authorities, extend visas, or submit necessary documents.
- Tax and Financial Reporting: If a foreigner resides in Thailand but cannot personally manage their tax and financial reporting, a POA can enable someone else to handle these obligations.
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Frequently asked questions
How can I get power of attorney in Thailand?
You can obtain power of attorney in Thailand by creating a Power of Attorney (POA) document. This legal instrument authorizes another person to act on your behalf in various situations.
Is power of attorney available in Thailand?
Yes, power of attorney is available in Thailand. It allows you to delegate legal authority to another person to represent you in different transactions or scenarios.
Does a power of attorney need to be notarized in Thailand?
In some cases, a power of attorney in Thailand may need to be notarized for it to be considered valid. The document should also meet specific legal requirements.
What is the special power of attorney?
In Thailand, there are two main types of power of attorney: General Power of Attorney (GPA) and Special Power of Attorney (SPA). An SPA is limited in scope and authorizes specific acts or functions.
Who can certify documents in Thailand?
Documents in Thailand may require certification, such as notarization, depending on the specific circumstances and legal requirements.
Do you have a right to a lawyer in Thailand?
In Thailand, you have the right to legal representation, and you can delegate legal authority through a Power of Attorney for various legal matters.
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