Power of Attorney Document
A limited power of attorney document helps us administer the Fruit Haven horizontal property structure, and also provides legal security to both you and us.
In order to participate in a group land buy at Fruit Haven, you will need to be represented legally. This is not only for the purchase of the property, but for many important administrative tasks, including receiving your funds for the property purchase, developing and maintaining the common elements of the property, and spending the property development funds on your behalf. We use the same template POA document for everybody, and it is only valid within Ecuador – it does not give power to represent you in any other countries. The document is a “general power,” which has a set list of powers, which are necessary for various tasks related to purchasing and managing the property.
In granting a power of attorney, you are the principal, and the person you are granting it to is the attorney-in-fact.
The power of attorney document is of indefinite duration (since we will need to retain these powers for administering the property on your behalf.) The bold + italic text explains the purpose of the power being granted. Below that is a FAQ to answer your questions. For futher questions, please email us at email@example.com.
List of Clauses
Click on each clause in the accordion list below to see the default, and various options you may have.
If you want to include one of the alternate options, you must let us know via email before we make the POA. Otherwise, we will use the default for every clause.
Note that with a power of attorney document, the attorney-in-fact must act according to the will of the principal, and any transgression against the principal’s will is considered “abuse of confidence” under Ecuadorian law.
1. Geographical Limitation
Default: We normally include a clause specifying that the actions in this Power of Attorney are only applicable to properties within Ecuador. This means that when you see a clause that says the attorney-in-fact can “buy and sell all immovable assets of the principal,” it doesn’t mean they can sell your house in the UK, because the entire contract is geographically limited by this clause.
Alternative #1: Limit this power to only the two provinces in which Fruit Haven properties are located (Morona-Santiago and Zamora-Chinchipe.)
Alternative #2: Limit this power to only the cantons in which the various Fruit Haven properties are located. (El Pangui and Gualaquiza cantons.)
Alternative #3: Limit the actions to be taken on immovable assets (land) to only the Fruit Haven property you plan to buy into. Warning: This means that if for whatever reason the sale doesn’t go through and you have to buy into a different Fruit Haven property, you would have to send an entirely new power of attorney, which means additional costs and delays.
2. Administer All Assets in Ecuador
Default: Administer without limitation all of the movable and immovable assets, real and personal rights, shares, businesses, holdings, and others, present and future, that are pertinent to the principal’s personal assets, being able in that sense, with the conditions and for the accounted or deferred price deemed pertinent, to exercise, order, concede and accept purchases and sales, swaps, donations, contributions, payment and payment sessions, amortizations, mortgages, pledges, subrogations, segregations, parcelations, divisions, bail, transactions, commitments, etc., limited to those assets owned in Ecuador – Essentially, the power to buy and sell assets in Ecuador (for example property, and the tools/vehicles/etc we may purchase on behalf of the owners) and perform various other transactions and processes relating to those assets now and in the future
Note: This clause is GEOGRAPHICALLY LIMITED by the clause specifying the geographical limitations. In other words, this cannot be used to buy or sell assets outside of the area that you specify in the geographical limitation clause.
3. Mortgage a Property
Constitute mortgage for any immovable property asset of the principal that is covered by this POA (geographical limitations apply) to obtain credits both in favor of natural persons and in favor of any financial entity – This power would not be necessary for most people, but if you were ever successfully sued or went into judgment from a debt in Ecuador, we could potentially require this power to put a lien or mortgage on the property on your behalf to avoid losing it. We recommend not removing this clause because it could potentially solve legal problems if you ever encounter them; the alternative would be months of delay and additional cost if you ever needed this clause but it was not included.
4. Purchase Properties and Assets
Acquire for the principal any title, movable or immovable assets, real and personal rights, shares and holdings, etc. – Fairly self-explanatory – to purchase properties and assets.
5. Obtain Construction Permits
Obtain all construction permits that may be necessary in whichever Decentralized Autonomous Government of the country to construct building in the principal’s lands in the name of the principal. – Note that “Decentralized Autonomous Government” is how they refer to the parroquial, county, and provincial governments in Ecuador.
Typically, construction permits are not required in our rural areas. However, we include this clause in case it were to become necessary, as it already is for electrical grid installations.
6. Rent out assets
Rent out the acquired assets, sign rental contracts, receive the funds from the rentals and deliver the respective receipts, etc. – In each property we may rent out tools to PHL owners or other Fruit Haven properties, or we may rent rooms in the community house, following the preferences of the property owners.
7. Property Maintenance
To be in charge of managing the perfect maintenance of the property, either the attorney-in-fact or the tenant. – Managing the property maintenance or charging others with its maintenance.
8. Request Basic Services (electric, etc)
To request basic services (electric, internet, etc) and perform any process in the utility companies and municipalities that pertain to the basic services.
9. Sign Contracts
Sign contracts in the name and responsibility of the principal. – This allows us to sign the community contract (the legal contract between co-owners of the horizontal property) and any other contract that may become necessary in the future.
Alternative: Without being able to sign the community contract, you would not be able to participate in the Group Land Buys at Fruit Haven; however, you are welcome to purchase your own property via Liberty Homesteads.
10. Complete Various Paperwork
To sign public titles if the naturalization of the act or contract requires it, such as personal guarantees, receipts, etc.
This generally refers to paperwork that needs to be done in order to complete property sales or administration of the property.
11. Register Vehicles
In the case of the acquisition of a motor vehicle, the attorney-in-fact may perform any vehicular revision or process at the National Transit Agency or any government organization pertaining to the vehicle, including registering it.
Note that Fruit Haven properties often include a vehicle (such as a quad) in the property development budget.
Perform any processes or payments required for the Internal Revenue Service – Paying taxes, etc.
This clause is mainly included so we can obtain the tax certificates necessary to complete a property purchase or sale.
13. Pay Debts
Pay off creditors, decide form and terms of payment, remove liens, etc. Recognize, accept, pay, or charge any debt or credit, for capital, interest, dividends, amortizations, signing receipts, balances, etc.
In case you were to owe money to someone here, as the result of a loan or a settlement, we would be able to negotiate and pay off the debt, remove property liens, etc.
14. Make Payments
Send, accept, etc, cash payments, checks, bills of exchange, future payments, etc.
Obviously necessary for spending property development and maintenance funds.
15. Administer Bank Accounts
Default: Ability to open bank accounts, receive, deposit, and withdraw funds, negotiate and enter funds into a CD, carry out whatever process is necessary to use the CD to obtain the investment visa, etc.
Alternative: We can leave this clause out. However, if you are planning to get the investment visa and may not be in the country while applying, this makes it much easier to do without having to give this power to an unknown visa facilitator. Let us know if you would like to exclude this clause.
16. Legal Representation
Order judicial processes and represent the principal in court or in any judicial process – To represent the principal legally if it became necessary.
In case you had a lawsuit brought against you or other legal proceeding, including this clause greatly reduces the risk that you would lose a case simply due to not being present and not being able to send a power of attorney in time. This allows the attorney-in-fact to select a lawyer, declare judicial procurement, represent you, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to complete this document?
We charge a fee (usually around $40) to make the document; you will see this charge in the form you fill out after being accepted as a trustee. This fee is to pay the Ecuadorian attorney who drafts the document. Ecuadorian notaries require each document to be signed by a lawyer. For people using the “alternative legalization instructions,” this fee goes towards drafting the English version of the POA with your data.
Ecuadorian embassies and consulates usually charge $30-$40 to notarize the document. Sometimes they will require you to bring a translator (anyone who knows both English and Spanish) and the translator will have their own fee. Then it will cost around $80-$105 to send the document here via DHL or Fedex express mail. We can’t recommend using postal service because Ecuador’s post office is very slow and unreliable (and now mostly non-existent.)
I live very far from an Ecuadorian consulate or embassy. What are the “alternative legalization instructions” and why does it cost $300-$400 extra?
In this case, we will send you an English version of the same document. You will have this notarized by any public notary in your country. Then you will mail it to your department of state / secretary of state (in the US, this would be your state’s sec. of state, not the federal state department) to be authenticated / apostilled.
After you received the apostilled document, you mail it here via DHL or Fedex ($80-$105 USD). We will have it translated to Spanish by a certified translator and then notarized (around $200 total.) At this point the document is legal to use here.
I am going to be living at Fruit Haven full time. Also, I plan to be there in person to sign the sale contract. This means I do not need to sign a POA, right?
You still need it. As explained above, we need the power of attorney to perform many different tasks, and to show that we have the owners’ permission to continually manage the property. We cannot rely on someone’s word that they will always be available to sign documents and they will not leave / move away. Nor can we (or the other property owners) rely on someone’s word that they will sign the community contract after they buy in. We did have one case of an unscrupulous person deciding right after they bought in that they would refuse to sign the community contract. Fortunately they sold their share rather quickly.
Another function of the POA is to reduce legal risk for the administrators. It needs to be very legally clear that we are performing all tasks relating to administration & development of the property on behalf of all owners, with the express written permission of the owners as shown in the power of attorney document.
To be very clear, anyone who wishes to purchase land without such legal representation, should purchase their own land, not as part of a Fruit Haven group land buy. Check out Liberty Homesteads if you’d like to be a 100% landowner and administer the property yourself. Also, with Liberty Homesteads, you can sign a very limited power of attorney that allows your representative here to simply buy the property in your name, with the POA expiring after that.
I don’t like X clause. Can I remove it?
Yes, if there is an “alternative” described in the accordion list above; but you need to let us know before you fill out the form and send the money for the POA. Once the wheels are moving, and the attorney has already drafted the document, any changes will cost extra.
Seed investors may get special consideration in terms of modifying or customizing certain clauses. For regular buyers of small shares, we may make what changes we can, as described above in the accordion list. Most other requested changes would be below what we consider the minimum legal representation to participate in a Fruit Haven group land buy. These limitations are described in the accordion list.
Can I limit the powers to just the specific property I am buying into? The document is very general.
The document is this way because:
- Some FH owners end up doing transactions with other properties, buying multiple lots, etc.
- Most FH owners send the power of attorney doc before they’ve even decided which FH property they will buy into.
- The main reason: Sometimes a property sale does not go through, and most people do not like spending a couple hundred $$ on the expenses of making and sending a power of attorney document and then having to do it again when something unforeseen happens with the property they wished to buy, like for example, someone else buying it before they are able to complete their power of attorney.
If you feel you are in a circumstance which would allow for a more limited document, let us know before the document is prepared. Keep in mind that some clauses can be limited, but others cannot be. Also keep in mind that this document is only valid in Ecuador; it does not give power over your property assets in other countries. We can do further geographic or property limitation as described above.
Anyone who signed a power of attorney document before December 2, 2019, signed a previous version written by a different lawyer. The powers given are almost identical, but the current version is simpler and more legally correct.
Anyone who signed a power of attorney document before approximately December 2020, has a slight chance of needing to send a new power of attorney document if they decide to sell their property. This is because of a recent change in Ecuador’s rules regarding how the property registrar must interpret power of attorney documents. We will inform you if this is this case in your circumstance.