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A special power of attorney is a legal document appointing a specific representative (to be called an agent or attorney-in-fact) to act on behalf of another person who will be referred to as the principal.
The circumstances in which the agent can act on behalf of the principal are clearly laid out in the document.
It’s also called a limited power of attorney since the agent is only authorized to perform specific actions on behalf of the principal. It must be noted that writing a SPA will give the agent the legal right to make decisions on your behalf.
Table of Contents
- How to Get Special Power of Attorney: A Step-by-Step Guide.
- What are the different types of Power of Attorney?
- What’s the difference between Special Power of Attorney and General Power of Attorney?
- Who can get a Special Power of Attorney?
- Who can be your agent or attorney-in-fact?
- When can I use a Special Power of Attorney?
- How to Execute a Special Power of Attorney in the Philippines if You’re Abroad.
- Frequently Asked Questions.
How to Get Special Power of Attorney: A Step-by-Step Guide.
1. Prepare the document.
Are you writing a Special Power of Attorney from scratch and have no clue about its format?
To help you out, we have created a template that you can use for any purposes.
Fill out the form properly while making sure that all the details are correct since it will be a legal document.
How to fill out the Special Power of Attorney template.
When filling out the SPA form, you must provide the following details:
- Name, address, and other personal details of the Principal.
- Name, address, and other personal details of the Representative/Attorney-in-Fact to be given authority
- The specific use/s of the SPA.
- Date and place where the Principal will sign the SPA.
- Signature of the Principal.
- Details of the Principal’s valid ID (ID Name, ID Number and Expiry Date).
Take note that it’s only the principal or the person giving the power who is required to sign the document. The agent/representative/attorney-in-fact only needs to present the document during the specific transaction that the SPA is made for.
2. Print copies of the duly-accomplished SPA.
After filling in the required information, print 3 copies of the SPA for the following:
- 1 copy for the Principal
- 1 copy for the Representative/Attorney-in-Fact
- 1 copy for the Notary Public
3. Have the document notarized.
Bring the SPA to your preferred Notary Public and have it notarized. Pay the notarial fees which range from Php 100 to Php 500.
What are the different types of Power of Attorney?
There are five main types of power of attorney and it’s important to know how each works so you’ll be able to execute the right one according to your legal needs.
1. Durable and Non-Durable Power of Attorney.
A non-durable power of attorney will only be effective for a set period of time and in some cases, it can only be used for a particular transaction.
After completing the particular transaction or once the set period of time is over, the non-durable power of attorney will no longer be valid. It must also be noted that if the principal becomes incapacitated during this time, the non-durable power of attorney will become invalid.
Meanwhile, a durable power of attorney is effective even after the principal becomes incapacitated. The agent can continue making decisions and signing documents on the principal’s behalf until his death.
Unlike the non-durable power of attorney, it does not have a set time period. A durable power of attorney is the best option in case of a partner falling into a coma or being mentally incompetent to make decisions on his own. In such cases, he can execute a durable power of attorney so his partner can make decisions on his behalf.
2. Healthcare or Medical Power of Attorney.
If you ever become extremely ill, you have the right to decide how you want to be treated. The Healthcare or Medical Power of Attorney will give authority to your trusted person to make medical decisions for you once you’re physically unable to communicate.
3. General Power of Attorney.
This type of power of attorney has a broad scope and grants a person the power to handle all your personal affairs. Appointing someone as your representative will give him the authority to do a variety of tasks on your behalf.
4. Special or Limited Power of Attorney.
This type of power of attorney is ideal if you only want a specific task for your representative. When drafting the SPA, you should be as clear as possible about what your representative can or can’t do on your behalf. You can also consult with your lawyers if you’re not sure about what to do.
What’s the difference between Special Power of Attorney and General Power of Attorney?
A general power of attorney is broader and gives the representative the legal right to make business and personal decisions on your behalf.
A special power of attorney, on the other hand, only allows specific functions of the representative and the circumstances when the representative can make decisions on your behalf are clearly laid out in the document.
Who can get a Special Power of Attorney?
Anyone who for some reason needs to assign a representative to sign papers, manage assets, or handle money on his behalf can execute a Special Power of Attorney.
Who can be your agent or attorney-in-fact?
Except for Consularized SPA, you can appoint anyone to be your representative as long as you fully trust the person. He/She should also be of legal age.
When can I use a Special Power of Attorney?
You can execute a Special Power of Attorney to authorize a representative to do any of the following:
- File tax returns.
- Claim government benefits.
- Maintain business interests.
- Manage bank accounts, cash, and even safety deposit boxes.
- Sell, mortgage, or manage assets and properties.
- Settle claims.
- Enter contracts.
- Plan estate and financial gifts.
- Receive bank loan.
- Submit the NBI application and claim NBI clearance.
- Apply for, renew, or claim PRC license.
- Apply and claim a driver’s license.
- Request for birth certificate and marriage certificate from PSA.
- Receive a birth certificate and marriage certificate from PSA.
On the other hand, these are some of the limitations to a special power of attorney:
- A special power to sell that does not include the power to mortgage.
- A special power to mortgage that does not include the power to sell.
- A special power to compromise that does not necessarily authorize submission to arbitration.
How to Execute a Special Power of Attorney in the Philippines if You’re Abroad.
What is a Consularized SPA?
A Consularized SPA is simply a Special Power of Attorney which will be signed abroad. The Consularized SPA is for OFWs who wish to assign a representative back in the Philippines but is unable to come home due to various reasons.
The Consularized SPA will be executed at the Philippine Embassy of the country where you’re currently residing.
What are the uses of a Consularized SPA?
A Consularized SPA can be used to assign someone to fulfill legal transactions on your behalf.
It must be noted that the powers and duties that come with the SPA are still limited. Your assigned person can sign documents on your behalf but he/she won’t be able to sell any of your properties and assets.
Only your immediate family members are allowed to serve as your legal representative back in the Philippines. It can be your spouse, children, parents, or grandparents.
What are the requirements to get a Consularized SPA?
To get a Consularized SPA, the following requirements must be supplied:
- Photocopy of the first and last page of your Philippine passport
- Valid Philippine-issued government ID (only if passport is not available, although some may require both the ID and passport)
- Personal appearance
- Two witnesses (should be of legal age and also personally appear with you in the Embassy during the execution of the SPA)
- Valid IDs of witnesses
- Notarial fee (amount varies per country)
How to Get a Consularized SPA: A Step-by-Step Guide.
- Instruct your relatives back in the Philippines to prepare the SPA. Have the assigned person and witnesses sign it, and then get it notarized.
- Once the SPA has been completely filled out and notarized, they can send it to the country where you’re currently residing.
- Together with your two witnesses, go to the Philippine Embassy near you.
- Present the required documents and sign the paper at the embassy.
- If everything goes well and there are no issues or missing documents, you’ll be asked to pay the consularization fee ranging from Php 1,500 to Php 3,000 plus an additional fee for the courier services.
- It usually takes around three business days to process the document.
- Once the document has been released, you can send it back to your family in the Philippines and use it for its intended purpose.
Frequently Asked Questions.
1. Can the SPA be revoked?
Yes, you can revoke the SPA anytime you want.
You just have to write a new document titled ‘Revocation of Special Power of Attorney’ which should state that you no longer want to be represented by your assigned representative. After signing the document, have it notarized and it will be effective immediately.
2. Does SPA have an expiry date?
It depends on what type of SPA was made.
If you have indicated that the SPA will only be valid within a specified period, then it will no longer be effective once that period’s over. On the other hand, if you haven’t indicated a validity period in the SPA, it will remain effective until you have it revoked.