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Power of Attorney for the Philippines

Authorising someone to act on your behalf in the Philippines

The PhilippinesDo you live in Australia, but you need to appoint someone to look after your property, business, or other legal or financial dealings in the Philippines? One way you can achieve this is by appointing that person as your attorney under a power of attorney prepared for the Philippines.

You might use a General Power of Attorney if you want your attorney to handle everything for you. However, if you want to limit your attorney’s power (ie, to a specific issue or transaction), then a Special Power of Attorney may be more appropriate.

Who prepares my power of attorney for the Philippines?

Since your power of attorney will be used in the Philippines, it should be prepared by someone who is familiar with the laws, procedures, and documents used in the Philippines. Generally, this should be a qualified lawyer in the Philippines.

You shouldn’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 but not be valid in the Philippines.

You also shouldn’t follow advice from online forums, chat groups or download just any kind of template from the internet without checking that it’s correct, reliable, and relevant. While the internet may be a vast source of ‘information’, it’s not always the best information and it may not be relevant to you or your situation. The power of attorney is an important legal document and following the wrong information or using the wrong template could have unexpected consequences.

If your power of attorney hasn’t been prepared properly it might be rejected or create more complications, and aside from the wasted cost of doing it all over again, there’s also the irreplaceable cost of time and the delay.

Does my power of attorney need to be notarised?

If you live in Australia and you’re signing a power of attorney for the Philippines, then it’s likely that your power of attorney must be notarised. This means you must sign it in front of a notary public who’ll confirm your identity, witness your signature and notarise your power of attorney. The Philippine Consulate may offer the services of a notary public as well, however, we understand that there can be a substantial waiting time for appointments.

You can ask your lawyer in the Philippines whether you can sign your power of attorney in front of a justice of the peace or some other authorised witness, but it’s unlikely since a justice of the peace or some other authorised witness wouldn’t normally be recognised in the Philippines. Also, your power of attorney will probably need to be stamped with an apostille (which requires notarisation).

What does notarising my power of attorney mean?

Notarising your power of attorney will generally require you (and anyone else who may be signing the power of attorney with you) to appear before the notary public, verify your identity according to your passport (or other photo identity documents), and sign your power of attorney in front of the notary public. The notary public will verify your identity, witness you sign your signature and then notarise your power of attorney on the basis that they witnessed you sign and they verified your identity.

Why do I need an apostille?

As Australia and the Philippines are both members of the Apostille Convention, this means that documents from Australia but used in the Philippines should be stamped with an apostille in order for those documents to be accepted in the Philippines.

Previously (before 2019), documents could be legalised by the Philippine Consulate, however, this process no longer applies. Now, all documents intended for the Philippines must be stamped with an apostille instead and the Philippine Consulate is not required.

In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is the ‘designated competent authority’ for issuing the apostille. DFAT can stamp an apostille on original public documents (ie, other Australian government documents) or on notarised private documents (ie, non-government documents like the power of attorney). This means your power of attorney for the Philippines must be notarised before it can be stamped with an apostille.

Signing a power of attorney for the Philippines

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Do you have any questions regarding this article?

Whether you’re notarising a document for the first time or the hundreth time, the requirements, processes, and terms can be confusing and daunting – or just a pain and a hassle (especially if you need an apostille, or to authenticate or legalise as well). Don’t worry! We’re here to simplify it, explain it, and help you with what you need to achieve it.

Contact us or visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about our notary public services. We’ve also created a flowchart to help explain notarisation, apostille, authentication and legalisation.

So, what’s next?

Visit our Notary Fees page for a free quote for our notary public services or just call us on +61 2 9687 8885 to speak with our friendly team about your requirements.

Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?

We’re a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney known for our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries, our low-cost fixed fees and service offering, and our availability to help on short notice. With our offices 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.

Ern Phang, Notary Public
Ern Phang
Notary Public

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.

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 other countries.

All information contained in this article is for general purposes only and correct at the time of publication. Only rely on information and advice specific to your situation and current at the time you wish to rely on it.
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