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Old 25-11-2007, 20:54   #1
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Power of Attorney

I read a thread on here somewhere where someone had a link posted to a copy of their Power of Attorney they used to give their wife/partner full legal recourse to the boat in the event something happened....

Of course when I put "Power of Attorney" in the Search function I get 70 bazillion replies (every post that has "of" in it) so the search function is really no help at all....any ideas??
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Old 28-11-2007, 16:48   #2
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That is because of the many different Power of Attorney types. Truth of the matter, a general Power of Attorney is often useless. Most locations require what is called a Specific Power of Attorney for specific circumstances and for specific areas of power. In the US for Real Property... every state requires a Specific Power of Attorney to spell out what property and under what circumstances it can be invoked and what powers are granted and what time frame may also be a requirement.

Major misunderstanding of Power of Attorney are common. In most cases they do not survive the death of the person giving the power... only valid during the life of the grantor. On death a totally different set of requirements is kicked into play such as Probate.

Depending on which state your in, the use of a Land Trust or Property Trust or just plain Trust, can facilitate the wife/ partner far greater recourse than any Power of Attorney. Unfortunately Georgia isn't one of the states that has great laws covering these items... move South to Florida or North to Illinois for more favorable laws.

This is something you need to discuss with a competent attorney in your state of residance... problem is finding one that is actually competent.. Do not attempt to use a generic Power of Attorney and think you have anything solved... it would be a BIG mistake.
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Old 28-11-2007, 17:35   #3
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Don't know much about Georgia law. But, it is the only state I know of that refused to recognize a Florida power of attorney for temporary custody of children. For what claims to be a general durable power of attorney that will meet Georgia requirements, go here:

Georgia General Durable Power of Attorney for Property & Finances (Immediate) - Free Legal Form

Not sure what you have in mind by "in the event something happened", but it sounds like something that might inspire more than just concern for the boat by your "wife/partner".
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Old 28-11-2007, 22:18   #4
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Does your spouse even need a power of attorney? As I understand it you and your spouse are a legal entity. Am I wrong?
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Old 29-11-2007, 05:56   #5
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Quote:
I read a thread on here somewhere where someone had a link posted to a copy of their Power of Attorney they used to give their wife/partner full legal recourse to the boat in the event something happened....
My wife takes control of the boat often with nothing but a nasty look. In our case the boat is USCG titled in joint tenancy so no power of attorney is required. Should I die by running aground and spilling fuel she can go to jail.

I suppose it depends on what you really mean and where you happen to be. I'm not aware of a world power of attorney to do anything required. George Busch has not got one yet.

A note from your mom might not be a bad idea to throw in the ditch bag. Probably one from each of your moms would be better.
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Old 29-11-2007, 07:19   #6
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Well...the problem is that I am not a US citizen and therefore for simplicity sake at the moment the boat is in my partner's name....I don't want to be arrested by the USCG for sailing someone else's boat down the coast if they are not on board is all....that is it right there...I need some document that gives me LEGAL possesion and rights to the boat in my partner's absence.....
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Old 29-11-2007, 08:05   #7
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Well...the problem is that I am not a US citizen and therefore for simplicity sake at the moment the boat is in my partner's name....I don't want to be arrested by the USCG for sailing someone else's boat down the coast if they are not on board is all....that is it right there...I need some document that gives me LEGAL possesion and rights to the boat in my partner's absence.....
I'm not a maritime attorney (and you may need to speak with one), but my gut feeling is this:

I'm not sure this is an issue. You can be the master of a vessel without being the owner.

In my own case (due to ongoing issues at the time from a business that failed during 9/11 in NYC), the boat was registered in my wife's name.

I was considered the master of the vessel, but not the owner. I was essentially her "crew." There is no legal issue with this. Just think of larger boats:

Does Hyundai or some global shipping company require its shareholders or board members to be the masters of their vessels? No. They have crew. An owner isn't required to be present when a boat is underway.
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Old 29-11-2007, 11:09   #8
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All you need is a written statement indicating that they know you are operating the boat. List the dates and your name as well as details about the fact that you have permission. Since you are not the full owner then you only need the permission of your partner. The ownership is as it is. You need to cover the fact that someone might say the boat is not yours and it might be stolen.
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Old 29-11-2007, 11:15   #9
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The ownership is as it is. You need to cover the fact that someone might say the boat is not yours and it might be stolen.
That's EXACTLY what I need to cover...nothing else really.....thanks...
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Old 29-11-2007, 11:25   #10
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You would need to have ownership papers that show exactly who owns the boat too. Just a note from an owner does not prove they own the boat. With the two you would have it all covered. The only other issues would be passport and required visas (if any). That would be good almost any place you could go.
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Old 29-11-2007, 13:33   #11
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"An owner isn't required to be present when a boat is underway."
No, but a bay constable or other uniform may want proof that the boat isn't stolen, and having a note from the owner plus some contact information would help with that. With a freighter--the issues will be somewhat different. I think we've all heard of freighters being "arrested" in harbor and the crew seeking aid (food and water) while they were stranded, in some cases with the actual ownership under investigation because no one wants to admit to it.

A note from the owner also protects the "borrower" in case there's some major incident. You never know when someone will turn around and try to duck out of liability )as the owner) by saying "No, I didn't say he could take the boat and do that." The world shouldn't work that way--but it does, often enough.
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Old 01-12-2007, 14:34   #12
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I don't own the boat that I skipper for a living. I have been boarded by the Coast Guard numerous times over the past 20 years where they check the Certificate of Documentation and they have NEVER questioned why I am not the owner. The concern has never even crossed my mind until now...and I am still not concerned.

It's a non-issue.
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Old 01-12-2007, 15:50   #13
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Thank you David.....eased my mind....moving the boat 300 miles down the coast to be closer to home next weekend...easier to work on it after a 3.5hr drive than a 7hr drive.......my partner will be 1000 miles away at a new job....I'll sleep a bit easier now....
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Old 01-12-2007, 21:23   #14
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"and they have NEVER questioned why I am not the owner. "
And the non-issue is that you've got a commercial position on a "commercial" vessel, that's the non-issue. How the USCG or anyone else treats "some guy on a boat" will differ from how they treat an apparent professional hired as a commercial operator.

Or were you also hired ona handshake, with no contract and no working papers, paid in cash rather than by payroll or check?

There are differences in how "some guy" will be treated.
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Old 02-12-2007, 22:00   #15
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be certain you have the proper registration papers

If there is anything I would want "on board" is the proper owner registration papers, be they state titled or documented boat.
USCG informed me the potential fine is $10,000.00 a day, each and every day you are operating the boat without it.

( Some years ago, I was in a hurry to get documentation papers back and asked if it was ok to just go without them, since the coasties already acknowledged they had my forms in their possession.) When the laughter ceased, I got a two letter answer, emphatically "NO" followed by the above information relating to the cost of getting caught.
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