What Jamaicans should know about powers-of-attorney

May 16th, 2011 by LegalWiz | Print What Jamaicans should know about powers-of-attorney

The name power-of-attorney can be intimidating at times, but, the individual so appointed never is a replacement for, although carrying out some duties of a trained attorney-at-law. All Jamaicans should be well aware of this term and what it means. The term “power of attorney” is really the document which lawfully allows the appointed individual to carry out legal transactions on behalf of the person who made the appointment. That person making the appointment is called the Principal.
Very easily Jamaicans refer to the person appointed by, or carrying out the duties as attorney, by the document as the power-of-attorney. The term generally understood is generally accepted in reference to the individual, and makes the appointed individual feel that much more worthwhile.

Simply put the power-of-attorney document appoints one as really an attorney-in-fact with certain responsibilities legally for the principal (person making the appointment or giving over the power), but the appointed person is different from an attorney-at-law.

For those persons abroad and unable to travel, a power of attorney may come in handy to work on your behalf in those challenging situations you just cant fly down to Jamaica, in a second to attend.

The THREE KINDS of powers-of-attorney are:

“Nondurable” “Durable” and “Springing” Power of Attorney.

The “Nondurable” Power of Attorney takes effect immediately, and remains in effect until it is revoked by the Principal (ie person appointing), or until the Principal becomes mentally incompetent or dies.
Such “Nondurable” Power of Attorney is often used for a specific transaction. A popular transaction is the closing on the sale of property, or the handling of the Principal’s financial affairs, or even to recover possession and sums on property.

The “Durable” Power of Attorney enables the Agent to act for the Principal even after the Principal is not mentally competent or physically able to make decisions. The “Durable” Power of Attorney may be used immediately, and is effective until it is revoked by the Principal, or until the Principal’s death.

A “Springing” Power of Attorney becomes effective at a future time. That is, it “springs up” upon the happenings of a specific event chosen by the Power of Attorney. Often that event is the illness or disability of the Principal. The “Springing” Power of Attorney will frequently provide that the Principal’s physician will determine whether the Principal is competent to handle his or her financial affairs. A “Springing” Power of Attorney remains in effect until the Principal’s death, or until revoked by a court.

GENERAL Power-of-Attorney

[extracted information. See reference below]
General Power of Attorney is an instrument authorising one person to act on the behalf of another, including signing legal documents and making legal decisions, writing checks, or other household matters. A Power of Attorney is appointed to act on your behalf in the event you became ill or disabled, or if you need to travel and matters need to be completed at home, etc. The person granting the authorisation is called the principal. The person authorised to act on the principal’s behalf is called the attorney-in-fact or agent. The term attorney-in-fact should not be confused with an attorney-at-law. One need not be a lawyer to serve as an attorney-in-fact under a Power of Attorney.

Note that the word “attorney” is not used here to mean “lawyer”. Almost anyone can be appointed an attorney by a power of attorney. The person does not need to be a lawyer. With a General Power of Attorney, your Attorney-in-Fact is authorised to undertake any acts you can do. For example, legal, business and financial matters, opening checking accounts, withdrawing funds from accounts, signing documents to sell your home, etc

Now in Jamaica all powers-of-attorney MUST register at the Administrator-General Department
Stay connected for the procedures on doing so!

Wherein lies the power is any and every Jamaican’s concern. The article at Power of Attorney is useful.

Elements of power-of-attorney

Contained within the power-of-attorney document (click for sample of power of attorney) can be these elements:
Person allowing power
Person getting the power
commence date
ending date (OPTIONAL and depends on type of power of attorney)
terms of appointment
special conditions
specific tasks
agent powers
principal’s signature
agent’s signature (OPTIONAL)
witness’ signature
signature of notary public or justice of peace


Fee structure by government offices at this link. Bear in mind it does not include drafting and transportation expenses.
When hiring a power of attorney, get someone who you trust. Bear in mind they have power to do almost or anything on your behalf. although you can revoke this power, it maybe too late by the time you catch up with the wrongfully-appointed power-of-attorney.

Power of attorney when pluralised becomes power of attorneys, although the ‘power’ itself can be pluralised referring to the actual allowed responsibilities or powers
According to WIKIPEDIA, the online dictionary
Understanding Power of Attorney
Administrator General Department in Jamaica
What is power of Attorney according to Jamaica Star

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  1. Luzolo Ntima

    Good morning

    I live in the UK, my father lives in Jamaica. He is ageing and currently
    unable to walk.

    We would like to find out how much it would cost for you to arrange a power
    of attorney and if it would be possible for you to visit at his home
    (Old Harbour). I will be on the island from next week monday (1/7/13)
    for a few days, but if it isn’t possible to do this next week, how would it
    work for family that is in the UK to become power of attorney and is there
    an extra charge for that?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Warm regards

  2. Legal Wiz

    Good morning Luzolo,

    Please make your query a bit clearer. You did say that will be in the island. Do you therefore need power-of-attorney for yourself, a family member or to empower our team members so we can assist you.
    Additionally for what purpose will you contract us to visit the home of your father. Is it that you hope for us to meet specifically at your dad’s house on your visit starting Monday. Is it that you want to arrange for the relating member of the team to supervise him, to assist with specific tasks, to check up on him or any other matters.
    We can prepare draft power of attorney document for you to use for a fee.
    For any task requiring us to have a power of attorney document, the fee is different to prepare, register, notarise such power of attorney document.
    To visit Old Harbour, an initial J$10,000 is required. This fee is either reduced or waivered if its concluded with the usage of the power-of-attorney, should we be contracted to operate on your behalf.
    When you are actually on the island, you can call us at 876-530-5744.

  3. Rosie

    I take care of an elderly and very sick relative as her next of kin. I take care of all financial affairs and medical affairs. She is quite senile and can no longer make major decisions regarding her care. She is therefore not able to recommend me as to apply for Power of Attorney. What are the possibilities of this being done?

    I need access to bank accounts as her nursing care expenses are .climbing as her health deteriorates.

    I await your urgent response.

  4. Good day Rosie,
    Thanks for writing in. A response from the Legal Wiz team will follow shortly.

  5. Chantellee Britton

    I would like to get a power of attorney for someone to act on my behalf. I am however not in Jamaica at this time and the person is in Jamaica. Can I still get a power of attorney? How will I go about obtaining same?

  6. Good morning Chantellee, Thanks for communicating. You sure can acquire the power of attorney from either an attorney or a member of our team who handles this for a fee. Should you wish to use our services, as information will be required from you along with payments, so please write to legalwizwork@yahoo.com.
    All the best

  7. David Wilid

    Hi there I have been made power of attorney by my grandfather he left me to deal with his property in Jamaica he has now passed away. I am currently leaving in the UK it is financially difficult for me to travel to Jamaica, I would like to appoint a close friend of my to take over how would I go about doing this and who would I need to contact also how much would it cost me.

    Kind regards


  8. Legal Wiz

    DEAR DAVID WILID: Our team can assist you for a fee. The fee structure can be emailed to you. Within our team are attornies willing also to assist you.

  9. Rogers

    Hello and good morning,
    I currently have ‘power of attorney’ in place and considering revoking this. Can you tell me if this has to be revoked by a Lawyer, and rough cost please. Many thanks
    Miss A

  10. Miss Sharon Edwards

    Good day
    I have already been appointed to the power of attorney and having difficulty with the bank with a very important transaction to sort out my house in jamaica.
    It’s a a joint and jointly account, but I have the power to execute transfers and to operate on any bank account all ready opened alone or in joints names on myself and any other person or persons.
    I can withdraw, sign,endorse and negotiate, exchange, dividend and interest and absolute discretion think fit.
    To except transfer of any stock, funds, shares, annuities and other securities which shall or mayst any time solely or jointly.
    Please get back to me as I as I’m now seeking legal advise and to sue the back.

  11. Sorry mistype error, me and my father’s house in Jamaica.

  12. Legal Wiz

    Good morning Ms Sharon Edwards,
    We’d love to assist you. However, your request in unclear. Please email us directly at legalwizwork@yahoo.com. Please send
    a. the copy of the power of attorney document you used
    b. the exact issue you are having
    c. the result you expected as against the result you got

    Please also tell us if the POA document was stamped and registerd.


  13. Kristal M.

    Good morning,

    My mother is currently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia. My brother and I would like to sell the house in order to pay for her nursing going forward from now. I would also like to apply for a power of attorney to sign on her behalf. My concern is when I have received the POA can I sign on her behalf as it relates to selling the home? Thanks

  14. Legal Wiz

    Dear Kristal,

    If your mother is able to sign, then her desire should be outlined in the power of attorney instrument.

    Otherwise you will have to apply for powers to act on her behalf through the courts.

    Thanks for writing in.

  15. Christina


    I am looking to start a business in Jamaica with my father who is from another CARICOM island. The business will be in both of our names. I am currently studying in Jamaica and would like to start the process of registering the business, opening a business bank account, leasing property etc.

    I would like to be able to sign all of the necessary documents on his behalf to get the business up and running. Will the Administrator General accept a power of attorney that is signed and notarized in another island to take effect in Jamaica?

  16. Dotlyn

    If I execute a power of attorney in the United States for someone in Jamaica to handle my affairs is this document acceptable in Jamaica?


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