Several years ago, we had to deliver a boat that had been caught up in a double murder in Mexico. The husband had been murdered, the wife had flown home to recover and sort out her future. Unfortunately this was her second marrige and the boat was not registered jointly in her name. Nor was she signed on as Captain. Her husbands will stated, as many do, that she would inherit his possessions if she survived him for 180 days. That left the boat ownership in complete limbo. We had a really difficult time arranging for clearance so we could take possession of the boat and head to sea. (We discuss this in a lot more detail in the next edition of Capable Cruiser which should be available in December 2009). From that experience we learned we needed a document to cover either of us should a similar situation occur. We keep a current copy signed and witnessed and with a notary’s signature in our shipboard files. It is important to have this document both witnessed and notarized as in some parts of the USA two witnesses are required for any document which could be involved in the estate of a deceased person.
Limited Power of Attorney
I____________, owner of the vessel______________, registered in ___________registry number ____________, authorize _____________to act on my behalf and to make any decisions regarding the management and operation of this vessel if I am absent, incapacitated or, in the event of my death. These decisions include but are not limited to; applying for permission to leave or enter any port, to appoint another person as captain of this vessel, to arrange for shipment by land or sea, or to place this vessel in storage ashore or afloat. This power of attorney does not extend to encumbering this vessel with any debt beyond those implied by the actions above, nor to sale of said vessel.
Signed by ____________________