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Old 04-06-2015, 12:55   #16
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Re: Difficulties in managing assets while abroad

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Ive had documents apostilized (?) a few times...has taken a long time with Central American countries, but nominal cost.

Ive had USA notarizations (?) accepted without being apostilized too.
Yes it varies quite a bit even within the same country or the same region of the country. Most 3rd World bureaucrats will use any excuse to get a small (or large) bribe due to "incorrect" notarization or apostillization but usually will back down if you threaten to go above their heads.
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Old 04-06-2015, 14:18   #17
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Re: Difficulties in managing assets while abroad

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One of the more cruiser related legal issues posed to me recently came from an American Ex-Pat living in the Islands. I thought it was an interesting enough issue to repost it here and share with the forum.

In addition to the traditional documents that need to be notarized like real estate transfers, and wills. More and more financial documents are also requiring notarization to be effective. In part this is driven by the general conservative nature of financial institutions (at least with their own money), in part because of the current concern over identity theft. While living in the country this isn’t really much of a concern, since worse case you can just run down to the bank and get things notarized.

However when living or traveling overseas it is almost impossible to have something notarized that will be recognized in the US. For major transactions there is an international treaty that allows cross certifications between notaries, but in practice this is a very cumbersome problem that for the majority of things doesn’t really resolve the problem. For more normal notarizations the only real option is to travel to a US Embassy or Consulate and arrange for them to notarize a document. Of course this places you at the mercy of a Consulate official’s schedule. Who sees the need to simply notarize something as an annoyance instead of part of their job.

To resolve this difficulty I have worked out with my client to retain on file a general (unlimited in scope) but limited (in authority) power of attorney for him. The major limitation is that in order for me to sign anything on his behalf I must append a copy of specific authorization for the document in question from his email address. This allows me to ‘upgrade’ his written authorization to a notarized document via the power of attorney I have on file for him.

We did this a few months ago and I held off on writing about it until today when I heard back that the scheme we cooked up was authorized by their underwriters. In each case it took a little more work on their part. But it saved my client from needing to take three trips back to the States just to sign documents.

For those of you now living aboard it may be worth speaking to your attorney to arrange something similar.
The wide ranging delegation of authority can be readily abused.

We chose our bank, in Australia, because they offer good technological solutions for us. We travel extensively and the dinosaur banks, lawyers and government agencies are a complete pain in the butt.

I'd advise you to look around.

For some things you cant avoid the fedex tennis. Dont try this in anything less than a first world country. Notarizing acceptance hasnt been an issue in first world countries for us so far.

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Old 04-06-2015, 15:19   #18
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Re: Difficulties in managing assets while abroad

in mexico the us notaries are located in us consulates in mex df, aka mexico city, and in guadalajara, and those are the only ones who are allegedly legal in usa. there is also one in manzanillo.
no one has to travel to usa to have something notarized.
use usa consulate and embassy.
call em to learn where the usa notaries are located.
th emanzanillo notary was adequate for selling a documented boat that was in san diego when i was here and unable to travel to usa for notarization of bill of sale.

when you are out of usa, go to or fone embassy and learn well, as you will learn you can do stuff outside the usa.
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Old 04-06-2015, 15:24   #19
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Re: Difficulties in managing assets while abroad

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
...

For some things you cant avoid the fedex tennis. Dont try this in anything less than a first world country. Notarizing acceptance hasnt been an issue in first world countries for us so far.

...
Yeah, Im waiting on a FEDEX of a HOA agreement now from a development with about 20 owners who are in many different countries. No notary needed, but original signatures from all owners. I think they are in limbo in Thailand now. Some bonehead used the USPS to send...may be a long time before I get them...which is good because Im in no hurry to sign them...hope they get lost a few times.

Ive also found that with today's good printers I can often get by with applying a digital image of my signature and having printed locally...worked for Panamanian Customs most recently. Here in Central America they are big into originals.
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Old 04-06-2015, 15:28   #20
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Re: Difficulties in managing assets while abroad

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I know the Coast Guard documentation web site says they will only accept US Notaries. I don't know if they will enforce it though.
And what practical recourse do you have if an entity refuses...become a test case under the Hague treaty? That should only take a decade or so.
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Old 04-06-2015, 16:12   #21
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Re: Difficulties in managing assets while abroad

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Any country which is a party to that Convention HAS TO ACCEPT an appostilled notarized document from another jurisdiction which is also a party to that Convention.
HCCH | Status table
The Hague Convention and the list of countries that are signatories | Embassy of the United States Riga, Latvia
This is not completely correct. Many countries signed the convention with the caveat that only some types of documents are covered. Brazil used to be one such example.

In addition, there are many bilateral treaties on this matter.

In my experience from living and doing business in many countries, the best source of info for this is a Consulate of the country where the document will be used in the country where the document comes from.

For example, if you want to use your the Articles of your Delaware LLC in Brazil then ask the Brazilian Consulate in Washington DC, which has jurisdiction over Delaware. They will tell you whether the only steps you need to take in the US are notarization by Delaware notary and Hague apostille by Delaware Sec of state, or alternatively they want Delaware notary, then legalization by Delaware Sec of State and then "consularization" by Braziliani consulate. I do remember that the answer was not the same for school records, boat documents and powers of attorney because of a "caveat" as mentioned above.
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Old 04-06-2015, 18:22   #22
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Re: Difficulties in managing assets while abroad

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This is not completely correct. Many countries signed the convention with the caveat that only some types of documents are covered. Brazil used to be one such example.

In addition, there are many bilateral treaties on this matter.

In my experience from living and doing business in many countries, the best source of info for this is a Consulate of the country where the document will be used in the country where the document comes from.

For example, if you want to use your the Articles of your Delaware LLC in Brazil then ask the Brazilian Consulate in Washington DC, which has jurisdiction over Delaware. They will tell you whether the only steps you need to take in the US are notarization by Delaware notary and Hague apostille by Delaware Sec of state, or alternatively they want Delaware notary, then legalization by Delaware Sec of State and then "consularization" by Braziliani consulate. I do remember that the answer was not the same for school records, boat documents and powers of attorney because of a "caveat" as mentioned above.
Sometimes it is even more screwed up than that. A few years ago a friend needed to send a notarized doc to an East European country. After it was refused at its destination he called that country's embassy in US and was referred to a specific page on their cite where it said in so many words to the effect "that since we are a party to Hague Convention if any of our local bureaucrats refuse to honor US generated apostille print out this page and bring it to that office. And if they still refuse call this number and we'll deal with them directly ourselves". They must have gotten sick of the volume of calls/complaints they were getting from their citizens living in US. ))
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Old 04-06-2015, 18:45   #23
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Re: Difficulties in managing assets while abroad

Even in third world countries, there's usually a way. In our case we had to get the signature of the local judge. It took a long wait, but other than that, afterwards his signature was accepted in Illinois and Texas, in the absence of a notary there where we were.

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Old 08-06-2015, 09:59   #24
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Re: Difficulties in managing assets while abroad

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And what practical recourse do you have if an entity refuses...become a test case under the Hague treaty? That should only take a decade or so.
I wasn't suggesting it be tried but if I didn't throw that in, I'm sure someone would have claimed they did it and got away with it.

For $79 for a critical document, life is just easier to play by the rules.
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