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Arun (None)     06 March 2012

General power of attorney - can there be two agents?


Situation: I had issued a general power of attorney with some restrictions to my mother. Without revoking it, I had issued another general POA to my father in law to proceed with a civil court case (this time with additional items added in what can be done). Is it illegal to have two agents at the same time with same powers in some areas or is it only a problem when the two agents are in conflict while executing something on my behalf?

I can go ahead and revoke the one I gave to my mom. But, if I can, I would like to keep two agents with the general POA so that there are no restrictions in what they can do. Or, should I make a separate POA (for specific items) just to deal with the court case for my Father in law.

Thanks in advance for your expert opinion.



 6 Replies

Rajesh Hazra (Mediator and Legal Counsel )     06 March 2012

You can have two Special Power Of Attorney holders specifically for assigned duties enpowered. Consult a Lawyer in this regard to prepare the same.

1 Like

Pragati (law student)     06 March 2012


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Arun (None)     08 March 2012

After receiving a lot of contradicting information, I decided to read all the related acts/AIR citations/judgements myself and clear all the myths.

1. Myth: There can't be more than one general power of attorney. Earlier POA has to be revoked before you appoint another
Wrong, you can appoint as many power agents (General or Specific) as you want. You are responsible for all their acts.
2. Myth:POA issued outside of India MUST be endorsed by the Indian Embassy.
Wrong again. POA signed by a Notary public of the country you reside is good enough (Notaries Act - Reciprocal arrangement between countries). However, this will have to be registered with the sub-registrar in India. There are tons of cases with arguements saying that POA notarized in the USA are not valid without an Indian Embassy attestation and each one of have them have been overruled.
Alternatively, you can have this POA endorsed by the Indian Embassy which is the same as registering with the sub-registrar. Courts will agree/presume that this document exists.
3. Myth: If you issue a new POA, it automatically cancels/revokes the old POA or you must revoke the previous one before issuing a fresh POA.
Wrong. You can appoint as many agents as you want (specific or general). The only problem is that a conflic may arise with these power agents contradicting each other or acting on their own. Let's say A makes B his power agent in addition to C who has been an agent for a while. C acts first to sell A's home to X. That transaction is good and A will not have any interest in the home any longer. If B, unaware of this transaction, sells the same home again to Y, A will be held responsible for the transaction. Y can now sue A to get his money back.

Hope this helps! I believe I have information to back these statements. Please feel free to contradict the same and we can enlighten each other.


PS: I'm an engineer and a business student. :)

1 Like

Arun (None)     08 March 2012

For educational purposes, these are the acts that I had to go through in detail and intrepret some of the things.

  • Notaries Act of 1952
  • Evidence Act of 1872
  • Registration Act of 1908
  • Powers of Attorney Act of 1882

AIR citations related to POA cases are available in abundance. Google is your friend.

Dr J C Vashista (Advocate)     11 March 2012

May appoint any number of attorney(ies) general or special but you shall have to own-up his/her/their acts of ommission and.or commission. Legally there is no embargo/limitation as such.

Overlapping attorney(ies) may spoil your act/action, be prepared.

Any one can be revoked at any point of time.

Validity of attorney is during will/pleasure and/or life of executor.

Triloknath l pandey Adv. (Legal Officer.)     24 March 2012

You can issue one GPOA in two names but clearly specifying the duties to them nor there will arise a confilct. GPOA depends on the nature of duties/work assigned to your agent. To avoid conflict whenever you execute GPOA kindly put one clause in the fresh one about revoking the earlier one with ratification of work done in the earlier GPOA. That will serve your purposes.  

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