When I initially wrote the procedure (click here) for the formalities to be followed in case of an unfortunate death of an expatriate working in Saudi Arabia, little did I expect the emotional outpouring which followed in private emails to me. That led me to the logical sequel, which dealt with the death compensation procedure (click here).
I have to reiterate what I wrote in this blog seven years ago - I wish no one ever uses the information given in this particular post. However, the maze of bureaucratic red tape one has to face in the kingdom in case of an unfortunate death of a loved one is simply mind boggling that the kith and kin of the deceased expat are made to run from pillar to post in search of credible information. As a policy, I waive my personal consultation fee in such cases, if it is going to help someone in some way. Just imagine the trauma faced by the loved ones to get the insurance and other benefits from the sponsors. To be fair, not all sponsors are bad and some do go out of the way to help the families of their deceased employees. But there are always exceptions everywhere.
In my earlier post, I had mentioned specifically about the Power of Attorney (POA). This is a legal document which MUST be signed by each and every one of the legal heirs of the deceased in order to proceed with getting the required compensation from the sponsor / insurance. There is a standard format for this POA and it is absolutely essential that every single word in the format is followed strictly. No abbreviations are allowed - for example Md., instead of Mohammed - and no initials are also allowed. Saudi courts accept only the full name of the legal heirs.
Now, the family of the deceased can nominate anyone to claim the compensation. Friends of the deceased expats, in their eagerness to help the families, often fall into a trap when they do not know the procedures. It is good to help your friend's family, but not at the cost of putting yourself into trouble. Remember, if you volunteer to take care of the deceased person's compensation, you must also be prepared to go to the court each time there is a summon. This means applying for leave or leaving your work behind. And be aware that the moment you take up responsibility, there will be absolutely no help from your embassy because you undertook to get the required compensation, so there would be no going back. Bitter as it may sound, this is the truth.
My advice is to just let the embassies take care of this. All embassies have paid lawyers who speak, read and write Arabic very well. They are knowledgeable about Saudi law. NEVER volunteer to be the power of attorney. You can always help the families appoint the country's ambassador as the power of attorney granting him powers to nominate any official of the embassy, in which case the embassy will take care of all formalities and see to it that the money gets delivered to the family safely. This is the best solution for everyone.
Coming back to the format of the POA, I have given below the template (within the dotted lines) which the family of the deceased MUST follow - every single word of it. This format has been fixed by the Saudi Government's Ministry of Justice, so take absolute care not to tamper with even a single letter in the template.=======================================================================
Know all men by these present that we, the names mentioned below.
Name Age Relationship with the deceased person
all residing at ______________________________________________(full address), being the legal heirs of late hereby appoint and retain Mr./Mrs/Ms _____________________________ (Name of deceased), who died in Saudi Arabia do hereby appoint and retain Mr. ____________________________ (name &nationality)/ the Consul General of India in Jeddah with the powers to nominate any of the officers of the Consulate (strike out which is not applicable), as our lawfully constituted attorney to do the following acts:-
i). To file claim and pursue the case to receive on our behalf the death compensation (Blood money), salary dues and any other amounts due to the deceased Mr./Mrs/Ms. _______________________ and pass on the same to us.
iii). We agree and under take to ratify and confirm whatever our attorney may lawfully do by virtue of the powers hereby given.
iii). The minor children mentioned above at Sl. No. are under the care of Mr./Mrs. _____________________ (relationship with the minors to be mentioned) who is the legal guardian and has signed on their behalf.
1. (Name & signature or thumb impression)
In witness we have executed this Power of Attorney on ____________________, (day & date) in the present of.
This POA is executed in my office on _____________________, (day & date) vide Sl. No. _________ in the register kept at my office. (To be filled by Notary official).
i). This document should be executed on Stamp Paper in this presence of Notary Advocate or any other competent judicial authorities. Notary or relevant authority should mention the date and Serial number of the document.
The above format has been taken courtesy of the Consul General of India's site, but it is equally applicable to any nationality. Just replace the appropriate words with your own country's embassy's name, if you are not of Indian nationality. Note that it is absolutely essential to fill each and every single line in the above format. In particular, if the deceased employee has minor children, the guardian of those children HAS to sign sub-item iii mentioned above.
For the rest of the procedure, just follow what I had written earlier (click here). Hope this is of use to my fellow expats.