How Does Power of Attorney Work in Spain?
If you decide to buy a property in Spain, it may not always be possible to be in Spain in person to sign utility contracts, property deeds, tax matters, or to apply for any necessary documentation required for any of the previous. So appointing a lawyer to act on your behalf through Power of Attorney would be the best way to proceed.
What is a Power of Attorney and who I can give it to?
A Power of Attorney is an official document signed before a public notary and executed as a deed by a person giving the Power of Attorney (donor) in favour of a third party. Typically, you give this to your lawyers in Spain who are assisting you with the purchase of the property, who will have power to sign contracts, make decisions, submit the documents, etc
What are the contents of Power of Attorney and what does it include?
As an example, a Power of Attorney for the purchase of a property will often include clauses allowing your lawyers to open, close and operate bank accounts, set up direct debits, obtain an N.I.E. certificate, arrange utility contracts, pay taxes, submit forms and send and receive notifications to and from different authorities, etc.
A Power of Attorney will generally contain:
- Your personal details as well as the details of the lawyer(s) that you wish to appoint.
- The details of the notary public who witnessed you signing the Power of Attorney.
- An apostille issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (if granted outside Spain).
The Power of Attorney can focus on a specific procedure or property, or it can be of a broader nature.
Your lawyer will not be able to do anything on your behalf that is not included in the Power of Attorney.
How to make the Power of Attorney?
To go through the draft of your Power of Attorney you can either go to a Spanish notary public in Spain, or a public notary in your country of origin. It is important that you get a reliable independent lawyer to do this for you, to be sure that the correct terminology is used on the draft. We recommend that you ask your lawyer or notary to draft an English and Spanish bilingual version, which ensures that you understand the document completely. If granted in Spain, an interpreter will be required if you don’t speak Spanish.
The majority of Power of Attorneys don’t have an “expiry date”, unless you include a clause that specifically states when you would like it to end. If you don’t include this clause but decide in the future that you would like to change the powers or revoke the Power of Attorney entirely, you should contact a lawyer or notary public and they will be able to help you with this.
Power of Attorney is automatically terminated (revoked) by the death of donor or the attorney.
The Power of Attorney is also terminated by declared insolvency or loss of capacity of either the donor or the lawyer.
The donor can also revoke the power of attorney at any time. However, this needs to be done by executing a Deed of Revocation of Power of Attorney. After execution, the notary will notify the lawyer about the revocation.
Our thanks to Sun Lawyers for this article – scroll down for more details.