Authorising someone to act on my behalf in the Philippines
Do you live in Australia, but you must appoint someone to look after your property, business, or other legal or financial dealings in the Philippines? One way you can do this is by appointing that person as your attorney under a power of attorney.
You might use a General Power of Attorney if you want your attorney to handle everything for you. Otherwise, you can also limit your attorney’s power (ie, to a specific issue or transaction) with a Special Power of Attorney.
Who prepares my power of attorney for the Philippines?
Someone who knows the laws, procedures, and documents used in the Philippines should prepare your power of attorney. A qualified lawyer in the Philippines is usually the best choice. Your lawyer can provide you with the most relevant and appropriate document. They can also advise you on the requirements in the Philippines so that your power of attorney will be valid and accepted.
Even if your lawyer won’t write the actual document, they should be able to provide you with a sample or a template. A sample special power of attorney for the Philippines will help you understand the requirements and avoid any mistakes.
Sino ang maghahanda ng aking power of attorney para sa Pilipinas? Ang dapat maghanda ng iyong power of attorney ay ang taong may kaalaman sa mga batas, proseso, at dokumentong ginagamit sa Pilipinas. Karaniwang ang isang kwalipikadong abogado sa Pilipinas ang pinakamahusay na pagpipilian. Sila ang makakapagbigay sa iyo ng angkop na dokumento at makakasigurado na ito ay tatanggapin at maiproseso sa Pilipinas.
Can I use a power of attorney from Australia?
We don’t recommend it. A power of attorney for the Philippines should be a power of attorney from the Philippines. Don’t use a power of attorney that’s been prepared for use in Australia. For example, you shouldn’t use the template for a power of attorney according to the Powers of Attorney Act 2003 (NSW). Usually, this power of attorney is only valid in New South Wales and Australia.
Australia and the Philippines are different countries and so different laws, procedures, and documents apply. There’s a risk that whatever you prepare in Australia will only be valid in Australia and not be valid in the Philippines.
Pwede ko bang gamitin ang isang power of attorney mula sa Australia? Hindi namin ito inirerekomenda. Ang power of attorney para sa Pilipinas ay dapat mula mismo sa Pilipinas. Huwag gumamit ng power of attorney na ginawa para sa paggamit sa Australya (halimbawa, isang power of attorney mula sa New South Wales ay karaniwang balido lamang sa New South Wales at Australya). Ang Australya at Pilipinas ay magkaibang bansa, kaya magkaiba ang mga batas, proseso, at dokumento na dapat gamitin. Mayroong panganib na ang anumang inihanda sa Australya ay magiging balido lamang sa Australya at hindi sa Pilipinas.
Where can I get more information about a power of attorney for the Philippines?
Ask your lawyer in the Philippines for more information about a power of attorney for the Philippines. Don’t blindly follow advice from online forums, or chat groups or just download any template from the internet. If you haven’t checked whether it’s correct, reliable, and relevant, how do you know you’re doing the right thing?
The internet is a large source of information, but it’s not always helpful. Sometimes the information can be incorrect, inappropriate or irrelevant to your situation. The power of attorney is an important legal document. Using the wrong information or template from the internet can have unintended consequences.
Improperly preparing your power of attorney can lead to rejection or more complications, which means wasted costs and irreplaceable delays.
Saang lugar ako pwedeng makakuha ng karagdagang impormasyon tungkol sa power of attorney para sa Pilipinas? Huwag magtiwala sa internet para sa mga makabuluhang impormasyon. Sa halip, hingin sa iyong abogado sa Pilipinas.
Do I need to notarise my special power of attorney for the Philippines?
A special power of attorney for the Philippines must be notarised if it’s signed in Australia.
Accordingly, you must sign your special power of attorney in front of a notary public. The notary public will verify your identity, witness your signature, and notarise your special power of attorney. Alternatively, the Philippine Consulate offers similar services, but there may be a substantial waiting time for appointments.
Your lawyer in the Philippines can tell you if a justice of the peace can witness you sign your special power of attorney. A justice of the peace is only empowered to sign documents for use in Australia. Usually, they’re not recognised in the Philippines and so they usually can’t witness you sign your special power of attorney for the Philippines. Also, if your special power of attorney for the Philippines must be stamped with an apostille then it can only be witnessed by a notary public.
Kailangan ko bang magpa-notaryo ng aking espesyal na power of attorney para sa Pilipinas? Oo, kinakailangan na magpa-notaryo ng espesyal na power of attorney para sa Pilipinas dahil ito ay kailangang tatakhan ng apostille. Hindi kilala sa Pilipinas ang isang justice of the peace at hindi rin magiging wasto ang anumang mga dokumentong nilagdaan ng isang justice of the peace.
What does notarising my power of attorney mean?
Essentially, notarising your power of attorney confirms that you are the person who signed it. To notarise your power of attorney, you must:
- Personally appear before a notary public;
- Provide a valid photo identity document such as a passport as proof of your identity; and
- Sign your power of attorney in front of the notary public.
The notary public will verify your identity, witness your signature, and notarise your power of attorney.
Why do I need an apostille?
Australia and the Philippines both belong to the Apostille Convention. This means documents must be stamped with an apostille before they can be sent to the Philippines from Australia. Without an apostille, those documents won’t be accepted in the Philippines.
Before 2019, documents sent to the Philippines from Australia had to be legalised by the Philippine Consulate. This legalisation process (which was commonly known as ‘red ribbon’ in the Philippines) no longer applies because it has been replaced by the apostille process. Going through the Consulate is not required anymore.
In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is the ‘designated competent authority’ for issuing the apostille. DFAT can put an apostille on:
- public documents (like original Australian government documents); or
- notarised private documents (like a power of attorney).
Your power of attorney for the Philippines is a private document. Your power of attorney must be notarised before it can be stamped with an apostille.
Power of Attorney for Australia
If you intend to appoint someone to act on your behalf in Australia (ie, not in another country), then your power of attorney must be prepared in Australia according to the law of the state in which you reside.
In addition to providing notary public services to assist people with their power of attorney used in other countries, we also provide legal services to prepare and witness the NSW Power of Attorney, which can be used across Australia.
Do you have any questions?
Sending documents from Australia to other countries can be complicated. We make it simple.
If your documents must be stamped with an apostille or authenticated and then legalised, we can help with that too. We’ve also created a flowchart to explain the process.
So, what’s next?
Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?
We’re a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney. We’re known for:
- Our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries;
- Our low-cost fixed fees and service offerings; and
- Our availability to help on short notice.
Our office is conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area. We help clients from across Sydney and beyond with personal, professional and timely notary public services.
This website is maintained by Phang Legal, a boutique law firm in Parramatta and a leading provider of quality notary public services to satisfied clients across Sydney and beyond.
Ern Phang is a director of Phang Legal and a notary public (since 2005). Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the issues faced by his clients in sending documents to countries all over the world.