Power of attorney is an important legal concept in Pakistan, especially when it comes to managing property and assets. With a power of attorney, you (as the principal) can appoint someone else (the agent or attorney-in-fact) to make decisions about your property on your behalf.
In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive look at power of attorney for property in Pakistan. We will cover the key terminologies, types of power of attorney, requirements for setting it up, and how it can benefit Pakistanis living overseas. Read on for a detailed analysis of power of attorney and how it can help you effectively manage your Pakistani property interests in 2024.
Legal Terminologies for Power of Attorney
First, let’s understand the main legal terminologies associated with power of attorney in Pakistan:
The principal, grantor or donor is the person who is granting authority to another person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) to make decisions about their property. The principal retains ownership of the property but gives legal authority to the agent.
The agent, also known as the attorney-in-fact, is the person who is being granted the legal authority by the principal to make decisions about the principal’s property. The agent has a legal duty to act in the best interests of the principal.
Types of Power of Attorney in Pakistan
There are a few main types of power of attorney in Pakistan when it comes to property:
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney allows the agent to make a wide range of decisions and take all actions regarding the principal’s property. The agent is granted broad authority to manage the property fully on behalf of the principal.
Special Power of Attorney
A special power of attorney is more limited and grants authority to the agent only for specific actions or time periods. For example, authority could be limited to selling a particular property or managing a property during a principal’s overseas travel.
Legal Power of Attorney
A legal power of attorney authorizes the agent to handle specific legal issues on behalf of the principal, such as property transfers or litigation. This requires the agent to be a licensed legal practitioner in Pakistan.
What is a general power of Attorney for property in Pakistan?
A general power of attorney (POA) for property in Pakistan provides broad authority to the agent to make most property decisions on the principal’s behalf. This includes powers such as:
- Selling, renting, or mortgaging the property
- Making repairs and improvements to the property
- Paying property taxes and utility bills
- Collecting rent or loan payments on the property
- Defending against lawsuits regarding the property
- Handling property registration and transfer formalities
The agent cannot make decisions that conflict with Pakistani law or go beyond the specified powers granted by the principal. The POA document should clearly outline the exact powers being granted. Most Pakistani banks and authorities will require the general POA to be registered before recognizing the agent’s authority over the property.
Power of Attorney for Property Sale
A power of attorney for selling property in Pakistan allows your appointed agent to execute the sale of your property on your behalf. The agent is authorized to negotiate a price, sign the sale agreement, and complete the transfer formalities in your stead.
The specific authorities granted in a POA for property sale typically include:
- Locating buyers and negotiating a sale price
- Signing the sale agreement and transfer deed
- Receiving and handling the sale proceeds on your behalf
- Ensuring all taxes and duties on the sale are paid
- Completing registration and ownership transfer formalities
Appointing an agent to handle your Pakistani property sale enables the process to proceed smoothly even if you are overseas. The POA provides the legal authorization needed for the agent to act to sell your property.
Power of Attorney for property registration
You can also grant a power of attorney to someone for the specific purpose of registering your property or land in Pakistan. This authorizes the agent to handle all aspects of the property registration process on your behalf.
Key powers granted in a POA for property registration normally include:
- Submitting the registration application and paperwork
- Paying the registration fees
- Managing any documentation requirements
- Attending registrar office hearings
- Completing verification formalities
- Collecting the final registered property papers
By appointing an agent for this administrative task, your property registration can be completed smoothly even if you are abroad or occupied. Ensure the POA document spells out the agent’s powers to avoid any issues.
Requirements for Power of Attorney
There are some key requirements for legally granting power of attorney in Pakistan:
- The principal must be of sound mind and intellectual capacity
- POA document should be signed voluntarily without coercion
- Signatures of principal and agent should be notarized by Oath Commissioner
- CNIC copies of both parties should be attached
- POA wording should define powers granted clearly
- General POA should be registered with authorities in Pakistan
Meeting these requirements ensures the POA is valid and the agent’s authority is recognized. The POA deed is complete once executed with proper notarization and signatures.
Registration Fee for Power of Attorney in Pakistan
The registration fee for registering a power of attorney in Pakistan is usually 1% of the property value, as per the stamp duty rules. This registration cost must be paid to the Stamp Office to formally register a general POA.
The POA deed must first be adjudicated by the Stamp Office to determine the applicable registration charges. These charges are assessed based on the property’s notified value.
Once the registration fee is paid, the Stamp Office embosses the POA document to complete the registration. The registered POA carries more legal weight for authorizing the agent’s powers over the property.
How long Power of Attorney is valid in Pakistan?
The validity period of a power of attorney depends on the terms specified in the POA document. Generally in Pakistan:
- General POA – Valid until the principal revokes it or passes away
- Special POA – Valid for the specific timeframe or action defined
- Legal POA – Valid until end of the legal case or revoked
Most general POAs do not expire unless the principal revokes the agent’s authority. The principal can revoke the POA anytime by submitting a revocation letter to the registering authority.
It is advisable to include an expiration date for special POAs tied to a specific period or purpose. The agent’s authority gets automatically terminated once the validity period ends.
Power of Attorney and Overseas Pakistanis
Power of attorney is an extremely useful concept for overseas Pakistanis wanting to manage their property and assets in Pakistan. Being geographically away makes it hard to handle Pakistani administrative and legal processes for your property without local assistance.
Granting power of attorney allows overseas Pakistanis to appoint trusted relatives or professional agents to look after their property matters in Pakistan. With a POA, your agent can complete processes like property transactions, registration, rent collection, maintenance, etc. on your behalf while you are abroad.
Some types of POA commonly used by overseas Pakistanis include:
Special Power of Attorney for Overseas Pakistanis
This defines limited powers to handle specific property matters, like selling your house or car while you are away. Theagent’s authority is restricted to the defined matters only.
Financial Power of Attorney
This grants authority to the agent to manage your finances and bank accounts in Pakistan to pay bills, handle taxes, collect income, etc. It is broader than just property matters.
Digital Power of Attorney for Overseas Pakistanis
Overseas Pakistanis can also consider granting power of attorney digitally using secure electronic channels recognized by Pakistani authorities:
Requirements for Digital POA
- E-POA document with digital signatures of principal and agent
- Biometric verified digital signatures from NADRA
- Attested by designated notary public online
- Registered electronically on the POA registry
A digital POA avoids the need to be physically present in Pakistan for the POA process. The agent’s authority is legally valid after completing the electronic registration. However, banks still require paper documents, so physical POA is preferable.
Power of Attorney for property Islamabad
The process for granting power of attorney for property in Islamabad largely follows the general requirements outlined earlier:
- The POA document should be on judicial stamp paper with defined powers and signatures.
- Signatures of both parties should be verified by oath commissioner.
- Attach photocopies of principal and agent’s CNICs.
- Submit for adjudication and registration at the relevant Stamp Office.
In Islamabad, submitting a POA for property registration involves:
- Verifying the POA document at the Judicial Stamp Paper office.
- Paying the assessed registration fee at the Stamp Office counter.
- Registering the POA at the relevant Sub-Registrar Office.
The POA for Islamabad property must specifically mention jurisdictions in Islamabad Capital Territory for it to be applicable. The registered POA enables the agent to execute property transactions and administrative matters in Islamabad on your behalf.
Power of attorney for property in Pakistan allows appointing an agent to manage your property interests on your behalf, providing convenience and legal authorization. For Pakistani citizens residing abroad, granting POA to a trusted relative or associate can be hugely beneficial for handling property matters back home.
Q1: Can a power of attorney be revoked?
Yes, the principal who granted the POA can revoke it at any time by submitting a revocation letter to the registering authority along with the original POA deed. The agent’s authority gets terminated from the date of revocation.
Q2: Does a POA need to be notarized in Pakistan?
Yes, proper notarization is mandatory for a legally valid POA in Pakistan. The signatures of the principal and agent must be verified by an Oath Commissioner or Notary Public through an affidavit. Unnotarized POAs have no legal standing.
Q3: Can a POA be used to sell inherited property in Pakistan?
Yes, the principal can grant a power of attorney to an agent for selling inherited property in Pakistan on their behalf. The POA gives the agent the legal authority to handle inherited property matters. However, additional succession certificates may be required for registering transfer of inherited property.