Why is it so important to draw it correctly and most of all – explicitly
Power of attorney (POA) is a documents that authorizes a person to act on behalf of another person or entity. In Bulgaria, the characteristics of the POA are outlined in the Law for the Contracts and Obligations. POAs can be done with or without legalization/certification. In some cases, the law specifically requests that the POA has notary legalization in order to be used legally. A prime example is a POA that needs to be used for real estate property sale/purchase.
In this article we will not discuss the distinction between legalized and not legalized POAs. We will rather concentrate on why is it important for a POA to be explicit – to provide (very) clear rights to the authorized person.
How was it done in the “old days”
The “GENERAL POA”
In the old days, people were used with the idea of the so called “General Power of Attorney“. It was utilized on a large scale and basically it was a simple one paragraph document, stating that “person A authorizes person B to act on his behalf without any limitations whatsoever”. Logically, such a POA could be used to buy-sell real estate, operate bank accounts, withdraw money, just name it. For the days, this type of POA did serve its purposes and was fine for just about everything.
During the late 1990’s, Bulgarian laws started to become much more complicated. Legal conformity became paramount and when Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 – everyone has to adapt a completely new and different mindset towards his legal dealings. General POAs were seen more as a thing of the past and the (government) institutions in the country started requesting more precise POAs in order to accept them. Real estate deals became the first to require explicit conditions in order to be used. It was not the case of authorizing someone to sell on your behalf your house. The notaries had to see which house precisely it was all about, what the price is and also who the buyer is. And so it has began….
The new realms
The evolution of the legal requirements about the Bulgarian POA did continue even further. As of beginning of 2019, and especially after the implementation of the GDPR stanards, the POA that are to be used in Bulgaria need to be really as specific and explicit as possible. Even a minor doubt in the meaning of the POA will render it useless. It is definitely not sufficient anymore to use sentences as “to represent me in front of everybody”, “to take any actions on my behalf” or “to sign any documents”.
Explicit, explicit and again explicit
… did we forget descriptive?
So the POA that can be used in Bulgaria now is ONLY the one that has been drafted by legal professional and stipulates all rights of the authorized person. Everything has to be as precise and descriptive as possible. We for instance, will not honor any POA that doesn’t bear our business name clearly on it. We have no right to act upon POA’s that have not been drafted in 100% legal way, showing precisely what the intention of the person who has signed is.
Stating clearly what rights are delegated is another prerequisite for us for accepting the POA.
The sanctions for accepting POA’s that are not sufficiently precise can skyrocket to levels never seen before (ie GDPR). That is the reason why all legally cautious companies (ie us, the banks in Bulgaria, notaries, etc.) will reject straight away any POA that is not drafted with significant information about the intentions of its author and the rights he is willing to provide.
See also: How to cancel POA in Bulgaria