Want to Buy/Sell a house but cannot get to Spain? -Power of Attorney explained
Maura Hillen, MBE, Hillen Real Estate
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in travel restrictions which have made it more difficult to travel to Spain in person to deal with property transactions and essential administrative tasks. If you find yourself it this position you may wish to consider using a Power of Attorney to authorise a trusted friend or a professional to act on your behalf here in Spain.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney (poder notarial) is a document (escritura), signed before a Notary, authorising a third party to carry out a specific activity on your behalf. The document lists the faculties that your named representative (apoderado) is authorised to do.
A Power of Attorney is binding. That is to say that if your named representative signs a document using the power of attorney, it is as if you had signed it. It therefore goes without saying that you should only grant a Power of Attorney to those you trust.
How can I set up a Power of Attorney if I cannot travel to Spain?
You will need to approach a lawyer versed in these matters, with knowledge of international practice and the procedures in your home country and Spain, and who is able to draft the power in bilingual format, and arrange its execution and subsequent formalities in your home country. If you have any difficulties in this please let us know.
Types of Power
General: You authorise a named person or persons to act in your name for all types of acts, which could be buying or selling a property, administering bank accounts, dealing with various administrations on your behalf etc.
·Specific: The Power of Attorney is granted to your named representative(s) to carry out specific tasks such as representing you in court.
Duration of a Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney may be:
Enduring: Continues to be in effect even if you, the person who granted the power (poderdante), become incapacitated in some way.
Limited: Is extinguished if you become incapacitated in any way.
Revoking a Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney can be revoked by the person who authorised it via the notarising of another document revoking the power. The revocation should be registered in the Notarial Archive of Revoked Powers (Archivo Notarial de Poderes Revocados). This can be done by a Notary who can, at any time, check if a Power of Attorney is currently in effect, when it is presented to them.
Please note that this note is just to tell you how the land lies and is not to be construed as being legal advice. At Hillen Real Estate work with a network of trusted legal professionals, so that if you need help please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can point you in the right direction.