The Law Dictionary

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Signing a Letter on Someone Else’s Behalf

Family members signing legal documents on someone else's behalf


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Sometimes in the business world, it’s necessary for office staff to sign a letter on someone else’s behalf, such as the manager or company president. This usually happens when the manager or president is not available or too busy to sign letters himself. Only an authorized representative should sign on someone else’s behalf.

Aside from internal company matters, there are other situations where people may need to sign on another person’s behalf. Commonly, real estate agents, investment brokers, and lenders will obtain permission to do so.

How to Sign a Letter on Someone Else’s Behalf

Procuration is the official term for signing for someone else. This term is taken from the Latin word procurare meaning “to take care of.” Now, when signing on someone else’s behalf, the signature is preceded by p.p. standing for per procurationem. The p.p. is a signal to the reader that someone signed the letter on behalf of another.

Here are some examples of how to use the p.p. designation:

p.p. Staff Signature
President’s Name

President’s Name
p.p. Staff Signature

Check with your employer to learn their preferred method of signing with the p.p. designation.

Signing as Power of Attorney

If a person is too ill to handle his own affairs, he will need a power of attorney — a person who has the legal right to sign any document on behalf of an incapacitated person. Ideally, people will appoint someone ahead of time to be their power of attorney. When a person passes away and their business affairs need to be tied up, the power of attorney can sign as the deceased.

When a person appointed power of attorney signs the document for another person, the document bears the same legal weight as if the incapacitated person signed it himself.

An attorney must prepare the documents giving permission to sign on behalf of an incapacitated or deceased person. Only the person granted the power of attorney has the right to do so. If any other person attempts to sign on behalf of another, the letter or document is not legally binding.

Signing for Your Child

Laws vary state by state, but in some situations, a parent or guardian can sign on behalf of a child. For instance, if someone under 18 years old opens a bank account, receives a tax return, or needs to sign another legal document, the child may need the parent or guardian to sign on his or her behalf.

Questions About the Legal Implications of Signing Documents?

Signing documents is just a part of everyday life, but there can be important legal implications for you, your family, or your business. If you have questions, consider getting a free initial legal review of your situation today.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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