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Power Of Attorney In Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, I'm going to briefly discuss the issue of power of attorney in Thailand. This is a topic that as it comes up with specific context in Thailand and there's sort of a bifurcated way I look at this, one should sort of disassociate and dispel and sort of set aside all notions of powers of attorney in the U.S.

Okay, a power of attorney in the United States often times can be a rather lengthy document because usually, a general power of attorney is going to be issued in a one-off context, in one off situation and that power of attorney could remain in force and effect for a very long period of time. It's my experience in the Kingdom here that powers of attorney can be issued much more frequently and they're often issued, what are basically are sort of a shotgun approach issuance of powers of attorney but they're little limited powers of attorney.

So what am I talking about here? Let's take this from two contexts. In my capacity as American attorney, I will often have a client sign a very limited power of attorney say to me to go down and get a certified copy of their passport from U.S. Embassy American Citizen Services here in the Kingdom. Or I might I might go down to go ahead and maybe even get a passport renewed on behalf of the client because they're at work but they just don't have time. Well they don't live in Bangkok and they don't particularly want to drive all the way to Bangkok to deal with the matter. In those circumstances, generally the individual may or may not have to appear in person to deal with the passport matter but it's been my experience that i can deal with it on their behalf provided all the documentation and photographs and prior documents pertaining to the passport specifically the old passport are provided. I have even actually, in the context of those who are incarcerated in Thailand assisted in getting a new U.S. passport - foreign nationals incarcerated in Thailand assisted in getting new U.S. passports issued from the U.S. embassy for those who could not appear for themselves.

So in the context of like dealing with the United States Embassy and this also may come up with respect to say local filings of immigration cases etc or simply dealing with U.S. embassy there is again, a sort of a limited power of attorney that's issued. It's going to be filled out one's going to go ahead and sign it but it's basically just going to go ahead and say “look this is issued as a limited power of attorney specifically so that my attorney can go down pick up my U.S. passport in order to return it to me go ahead and get a copy of the U.S. passport or get a copy of a document that I need certified for purposes of use in the United States.”

Again, this power of attorney is going to be extremely limited in scope. It's going to specifically spell out the situation. As far as immigration stuff goes, that's more of a representative appearance situation but again, I'm operating my specific capacity of the representative for purposes of U.S. immigration. With respect to powers of attorney as they operate for those who are needing to deal with the Thai government, these are generally filled out by one of our Thai legal staff. A Thai attorney is going to go ahead and have it all filled out but it's going to be for limited purposes. The thing is though, especially for those doing business in the Kingdom, they're going to have to deal with multiple different ministries and departments in the Thai bureaucracy that you're going to need specific powers of attorney when dealing with them.

So limited powers of attorney are going to be necessary on a fairly frequent basis for our Thai legal staff to go ahead and sometimes our accounting staff when dealing with the Revenue Department to go ahead and deal specifically with specific bureaucracy, specific ministries for specific tasks. For example, if one needs a personal tax identification number issued you got to deal with revenue department. Presumably, the client doesn't necessarily want to deal with that matter in person and deal with all the documentation that goes with that. One of our Thai attorneys is going to be able to assist with that. The same goes for say getting a tax document issued or for say, getting a set of corporate resolutions issued or a list of shareholders or directors or new what's called nongsue raprong which is sort of like corporate manifest, articles of association, what happened the issue. Clients aren't necessarily going to want to deal with that so in those circumstances, powers of attorney in a very limited context but perhaps fairly often signed and enacted are going to be necessary.

Now again, they have limited scope, limited time frame and they only pertain to a very narrow matter.  It's actually in my experience unlike the United States, it's actually a fairly frequent occurrence that these limited powers of attorney are going to be required in order to go ahead and get documentation necessary to maintain businesses, to go ahead and deal with certain legal matters as they arise in Thailand. It's going to be fairly frequent that that these are going to need to be issued. So in an American context when dealing with the embassy myself acting as an attorney but also having a side power of attorney for a limited scope and the limited reason for dealing with the embassy is in some cases going to be necessary and my Thai counterparts are oftentimes going to go ahead and need a limited power of attorney when say dealing with a specific department or a specific ministry in Thailand for a specific matter on behalf of the client.