We have been asked this question many times, especially by US citizens living in Israel who have assets in the US: “Can I use a US power of attorney in Israel?” Some are getting on in years and want to make sure that family members can look after their affairs, when they are no longer able to. Other times, it is related to the act of specifically giving instructions to a family member to transfer money from a US domiciled brokerage account to Israel (or any other country) for living expenses.
Let’s put things into order here.
But first, we’ve written these blogs about moving to and living in Israel which you may enjoy.
Checklist for moving to Israel
Financial planning for US citizens living abroad
Selling a house in Israel as a US citizen
Why US Expats should look before they leap into a Roth 401k
Compliance with reporting of foreign assets: tips for US expats to avoid stress
What expats need to know about Brokerage Accounts for non-US residents
Does a US Power of Attorney work overseas, or not?
Powers of Attorney (POA) do not cross borders. You cannot use an Israeli Power of Attorney, even if notarized and stamped (or wrapped with a nice-looking red legal ribbon) to instruct on activities in the US.
One needs a US Power of Attorney in order to transact in the US-domiciled brokerage account, or to give other instructions, such as transferring money, executing a Required Minimum Distribution from an IRA and so on. US custodians also demand that the person who is the POA be a US citizen and resident in the US.
This became an issue for one of our clients, as her children, to whom she wanted to give POA to, are US citizens residing in Israel.
We were able to convince our custodian to make an exception and allow for her children to become her POA. This is a huge source of relief for her. So now they can instruct us to transfer money to Israel on her behalf, sign wire forms etc. Once the money reaches Israel and they need to make payments for various expenses for their mother, this will be via an Israeli POA.
Remember: POA’s do not cross borders.
What about notarizing a US document overseas?
And one related topic…
If you need a US document notarized, it cannot be notarized by a foreign notary. It has to be a US notary public, residing in the US. Fortunately, there are online services where the US notaries are engaged via zoom.
Two such services (which we have not used so cannot endorse) are:
Thanks for reading our blog on US Power of Attorney!
We are expat financial advisors located in Israel and the US, serving expats globally.
If you are moving to Israel or another country and don’t know where to start when it comes to the financial side of things, or hold US or foreign assets and need help figuring out your retirement as an expat, please contact us.
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Nardis Advisors LLC (“Nardis”) is a Registered Investment Advisory Firm regulated by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission in accordance and compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Nardis does not render or offer to render personalized investment advice through this medium. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment or legal advice. Investment advice can only be rendered after delivery of the Firm’s disclosure statement (Form ADV Part 2) and execution of an investment advisory agreement between the client and Nardis.