September 22, 2023

Have you ever ever discovered your self in a state of affairs the place you had been anticipated to signal on another person’s behalf, however weren’t certain if it was authorized or not? It might be in an workplace set-up if you had been anticipated to signal for a senior colleague or boss, or in a private state of affairs if you had been anticipated to signal for a member of the family or pal.
For the uninitiated, this may increasingly look unlawful, however do you know that you could
signal on another person’s behalf as as long as you might be authorised to signal for them? 

Though handwritten signatures aren’t used almost as typically as they was once, in situations the place they’re required, authenticity is taken very significantly. 

On this article, we shed extra mild on the suitable approach to signal for another person in addition to share the ins and outs of when this isn’t acceptable. 

Learn alongside. 

When does signing for another person develop into unlawful?

Signing a doc as another person with out that individual’s permission falls below this class as a forgery. That is primarily based on having the ‘intention to defraud’ somebody. This is applicable even for those who thought you had permission to signal one thing.

Section 253 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) states that falsifying a doc is a criminal offense. Additional, it’s punishable by 10 years imprisonment. There are related provisions within the legal laws of different states. If the opposite individual is unaware that you simply’re signing one thing for them and also you’re gaining one thing, then you definitely’re committing forgery. It’s vital to all the time have the permission of the individual earlier than you signal on their behalf.

Learn how to legally signal for another person in Australia?

Completely different paperwork are handled with various levels of seriousness for those who signal for another person. 

As an example, when signing for a parcel from any e-commerce vendor resembling eBay, Iconic or Australia Put up, the seller usually permits you to signal for another person for those who inform them that you’ve got permission to take action. 

They might ask you to current identification nonetheless to show your id. 

In different circumstances, resembling making use of for a financial institution mortgage or mortgage, the signature must be that of the supposed signee. Extra formal paperwork resembling a contract for the sale of land require an authentic signature below the Statute of Frauds. Nevertheless, these could be signed by another person with permission.

In essence, you possibly can signal legally utilizing two strategies. 

  1. Utilizing a ‘p.p’
  2. Utilizing a Energy of Lawyer

What’s ‘p.p’ and when ought to I exploit it?

In firm paperwork or extra formal correspondence, the prefix ‘p.p’ is written earlier than the signature of the one that is to signal on another person’s behalf. This signifies that the doc is being signed below ‘procurement’, with ‘p.p’ standing for ‘procurationem’. 

Per procurationem is Latin for ‘by the company of’, signifying an acknowledgement that one other individual is signing the doc, however that they’re doing so with authorisation. 

Beneath your signature will often be the identify and place of the supposed signee. If you’re signing one thing formal with the specific authority of the supposed signee, put ‘p.p’ earlier than your signature, as it’ll advise the reader that you’re signing on another person’s behalf.


You’re employed for a lawyer who’s presently in Courtroom. They should ship an pressing letter to a solicitor which must be hand-delivered to make sure receipt. The lawyer has requested you to signal for them, above their identify and place title on the finish of the letter. You write ‘p.p’ within the signature area and signal your identify after it. This validates the letter, in informing the reader the letter has been signed on behalf of the lawyer with authorisation.

Learn how to use a Energy of Lawyer to Signal a Doc 

A Energy of Lawyer is a authorized doc that permits an assigned individual to signal on behalf of an individual who’s incapacitated, medically unfit or deceased. It might additionally turn out to be useful when the unique signee is travelling or has entrusted the POA holder to signal on their behalf. 

In Australia, the Energy of Lawyer can differ from one state to a different and could be held by a member of the family or a delegated lawyer/employees in case of firms. 

Can Digital Signatures (eSignatures) be used to signal on behalf of somebody? 

Digital signatures (eSignatures) are frequent lately, with many platforms providing eSignature instruments on-line free of charge. Whether or not this be by the use of a picture of an individual’s signature, merely typing an individual’s identify, or utilizing an eSignature platform, in some ways, eSignatures have eliminated the necessity for somebody to signal on one other’s behalf. 

This has additionally, in flip, gone a good distance in decreasing incidences of fraud. Nevertheless, when you have entry to somebody’s eSignature, you could nonetheless solely use it the place you’ve that individual’s permission. As long as you’ve the authority given to you in writing, you’ll have the ability to display that you simply used the eSignature of one other personally and legally.

By no means signal your identify to something with out studying it first

When including your signature to one thing, it’s vital to know the authorized significance it carries. That is particularly the case the place you’re signing for another person or for those who’re their energy of legal professional. 

It is because you’re making choices for that individual, and your judgment must replicate what’s in the very best pursuits of that individual. Even for those who’re merely utilizing ‘p.p’ within the absence of the supposed signee, it’s nonetheless clever to know what you’re attaching your identify to. 

Ensure you learn the doc in entrance of you, and ask the supposed signee if there’s something that you simply’re not sure about. While signing for another person has develop into much less frequent, you may nonetheless should now and again. So long as you’re signing with the permission of the supposed signee, then it’s authorized to signal for them apart from some paperwork which carry a better authorized significance (resembling Wills). 

If you’re not sure whether or not you’ve the authorized proper to signal one thing, verify with the individual you might be signing for or seek the advice of a lawyer.