Can I Transfer or Sell the Property by Way of Power of Attorney?

What is Power of Attorney?

Power of Attorney (“PA”) is a legal instrument where the Donor confers the authority to the Donee to act on behalf of him in the performance of specific acts. In order to create a valid PA, it must be executed before an advocate and solicitor or such other person as mentioned in Section 3 of Powers of Attorney Act 1949 (“PA 1949”) and subsequently deposited the duly registered PA in the High Court as per Section 4 of the PA 1949. In general, there are two types of PA namely revocable PA and irrevocable PA.

Revocable Power of Attorney

Pursuant to Section 5 of PA 1949, a revocable PA shall continue to be in force until the occurence of these events:-

  1. Revocation made by the Donor;
  2. The Donor/Donee has passed away;
  3. The Donor/Donee has become unsound mind;
  4. A receiving order has been made against the Donor in bankruptcy.

Irrevocable Power of Attorney

With reference to Section 6 of PA 1949, there are two essential elements that need to be entailed in an irrevocable PA which first, it shall have a valuable consideration and second, it is expressly stated as irrevocable in the instrument. Valuable consideration means some right, profit or benefit entitled by one. Save and except that the Donee has concurred to terminate the PA, it shall remain subsist despite the occurrence of the events mentioned under Section 5 of PA 1949. Any occurrence of the events stipulated under Section 5 of PA 1949 will not rendering the irrevocable PA to be revoked automatically under the laws.

Therefore, before you would like to transfer or sell the Property by way of Power of Attorney, kindly check on the following:-

  1. Is the PA on hand a revocable PA or irrevocable PA?
  2. Is the PA on hand a valid PA?
  3. What is the current situation of the Donor?
  4. Is your authority to deal with the Property expressly mentioned in the PA?

If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact our lawyer that you usually deal with.

This article is written by 
Yeo Soo Peng
Partner, Low & Partners
Chloe Yong Chi Yhin
Legal Associate, Low & Partners
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