If you want to give a professional, such as a lawyer, or a family member the power to manage your property, business or investments in Spain, you need to issue a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a legal document to appoint trusted individuals (‘Attorneys’) to make important decisions on your (the ‘Donor’) behalf.
What is the purpose of a Spanish Power of Attorney?
It is common in Spain for international clients to grant Power of Attorney to legal firms so that lawyers can deal with matters on behalf of their clients when they are not in Spain. A Power of Attorney will often be the most practical way of enabling a Spanish lawyer to undertake tasks and sign documents on behalf of their clients so they do not have the expense and the inconvenience of having to attend in-person to sign or authorise each part of a legal matter.
What is a Spanish Power of Attorney?
In Spain, a Power of Attorney is a written authorisation signed before a Notary public, in favour of a third party. It is a practical way of delegating authority to a person who will then be legally authorised to carry out certain acts with tax and legal implications.
What clauses should be in a Spanish Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney in Spain can be general or specific in nature, depending on whether the powers required are wide-ranging and long-lasting, or if it is issued for a specific transaction or legal act. Examples include the power to open, close and operate bank accounts, make payments, pay taxes, submit forms and send and receive notifications to and from different authorities.
What should you consider before granting Power of Attorney to a lawyer?
The most important matter to be considered when granting a Power of Attorney is to draft carefully the authority and consider the financial implications of potential negligence. The appointed lawyer must have a Professional Indemnity Insurance with a premium equivalent to the value of the assets over which he or she will have control.
What are the duties of a Lawyer when acting as Power of Attorney?
It is good practice for the grantor to discuss and confirm in writing any expectations they have for their lawyer. The appointed lawyer’s primary duty is to abide by the terms of the Power of Attorney and they can only act to the extent of the instructions given.
The lawyer must always check with their client prior to any making any important decision or action and keep detailed records of all transactions entered into on behalf of the Donor. The lawyer must act in the Donor’s best interest and avoid any conflicts of interest. The Attorney would be responsible for any damages suffered by the Donor as a result of the Attorney’s negligence.
Are there time limits in Spanish Power of Attorney?
Spanish Powers of Attorney do not expire on a set date unless a time limit or an expiry date for the Power of Attorney has been set out in the document. The Donor who has given the Power of Attorney can revoke it at any time.
How are Powers of Attorney terminated?
The Donor can revoke the Power of Attorney and any time by executing a Deed of Revocation of Power of Attorney. The Deed of Revocation does not need to be authorised by the same Notary before whom the Power of Attorney was executed. After execution, the Notary will notify the Attorney of the revocation.
If the Power of Attorney was drafted for a set mandate it is always advisable to revoke it once this has been completed and to ask the Attorney to return to the Donor the original Deed of Power of Attorney and any copies that he may have obtained from the Notary’s office.
Powers of Attorney are also automatically terminated by the insolvency, loss of capacity or death of either the Donor or the Attorney. The Attorney is free to resign at any time.
How do you arrange a Power of Attorney in Spain/ UK?
Your lawyer will draft a Power of Attorney in both Spanish and English (unless you speak fluent Spanish) which then be signed by you in front of a Notary (who will need to verify your identity by reviewing official documents such as a passport) either in Spain or in the country where you will be signing it. If the Power of Attorney document is being signed with a Notary in the UK, it will also need to be legalised after signing with The Hague Convention Apostille by the Legalisation Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office so that it will be valid for use in Spain.
How can we help you with a Spanish Power of Attorney?
Our bilingual English-Spanish lawyers will take care of the above aspects and will take the time to discuss your needs regarding any Power of Attorney concerns you may have.
Del Canto Chambers will advise you on how to limit the powers given, and which you should grant in accordance with your personal circumstances. We will then arrange for this to be signed by you in front of a Notary either in Spain or the UK, ensuring that all requirements are satisfied so that the Power of Attorney will have full legal effect.