A Power of Attorney in Spain is a contract that grants a third party the authority to act on your behalf. People use it typically for legal and transactional matters. However, it can also be used for a range of other things. In Spanish, the Power of Attorney is also known as Escritura de Poder,’ or ‘Poder Notarial’. People who may be unavailable to attend specific affairs give the authorisation. They use the document to nominate a particular individual to represent them. In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know if you want to use it.
How does it work?
Granting Power of Attorney is a relatively straightforward process, but we’ll outline the key things you should consider before getting started.
Types of Spanish Power of Attorney
There are three different types of Power of Attorney, all with varying levels of legal authorisation you can give a person.
- As the name suggests, this gives your representative general powers to complete a wide variety of legal tasks on your behalf.
- This option authorises your representative to conduct a specific task for you, such as incorporating a business.
- This Power of Attorney is for those who would like to appoint someone to manage their affairs and medical decisions in anticipation of their diminished physical or mental capacity.
The representative gives the individual they appoint the Power of Attorney. Often this is a lawyer, but it can also be a trusted family member, friend or colleague. The person is required to follow any instruction communicated by you, the donor strictly, and is forbidden to take actions outside of the Powers of Attorney authorised to them. It’s also mandatory that they render accounts to the donor and provide any money they have accepted on their behalf. Additionally, if the donor suffers any damages due to the attorney’s negligence, the representative in question will take complete responsibility.
The donor must fulfil any obligations that the attorney made on their behalf. The purpose of the donor is to control and supervise their representative’s actions. The donor is the person who will be held accountable for any financial or legal errors that may have occurred as a result of their representative’s actions.
These obligations also include advancing any money to the attorney necessary to execute assigned tasks. In short, the donor is responsible for any attorney’s actions that they instructed.
Granting Power of Attorney is a simple affair. Once you’ve identified an individual or lawyer you’d like to extend these powers to, there are a few easy steps to get the necessary documentation legalised.
- A lawyer will draft you a Power of Attorney document in English and Spanish outlining the powers to be granted to your specified representative.
- Once all the details in the document have been confirmed, an appointment will be scheduled with a public notary in Spain or elsewhere to verify the identities of you and your donor and witness the signatures.
- For those arranging a POA while outside of Spain, please note that the document must also contain the Apostille Stamp; this is an official stamp that guarantees the document’s validity in both Spain and the country the signature took place.
The Spanish Power of Attorney document should contain the following information:
- Personal details of both the donor and attorney
- The location where the document is signed
- The date of signature
- The full name of the public notary
- The city that the public notary operates out of
- The primary purpose of the Power of Attorney and the exact rights that are being granted to the third party
- The signatures of both the donor and the attorney
- A stamp from the public notary
It’s important to note that unless directly specified by the donor, Powers of Attorney don’t have an expiration date. In saying that, you can revoke these powers at any time by granting a Deed of Revocation of Power of Attorney authorised by a public notary.
Automatic termination of the mandate will happen when the donor or attorney dies or loses mental capacity.
When do you need a Power of Attorney Spain?
If you live outside of Spain, you cannot attend certain legal events, or if you would prefer to have a representative handle matters for you – then a Power of Attorney in Spain is an ideal choice. Not to mention, navigating a foreign legal system in another language can be a complex and challenging task to handle on your own. Granting Power of Attorney to a representative allows them to complete a range of legal tasks on your behalf, including:
Buying and selling property
Buying property is one of the most common reasons for applying for a Power of Attorney. It is normal to get a Spanish property lawyer when you are doing any real estate transaction. If you’re looking to buy a house in Spain, then it is possible that your attorney and notary will negotiate the contract on your behalf. This has the benefit that you don’t have to travel to Spain and can manage the process online, the process is smooth, and you can rest assured that all documents are in order. Next, buying a Spanish property can be pretty time-consuming, complicated, and all done in Spanish. Having the right Power of Attorney in place to manage this aspect means you don’t have to worry about things like notarisation or registration – they will all be taken care of by your attorney acting on your behalf.
Selling property – if you own property in Spain but are currently residing outside of the country, consider granting POA so that an attorney can act on your behalf when selling the property. The benefits of this are that a language barrier won’t hold up the sale of your property, and you don’t need to travel back to Spain.
Starting a company
Forming a company in Spain is also a popular reason to get a POA in Spain. Suppose you’re looking to start up a business or an association. In that case, required notarisation and registration are commonly completed by a lawyer for you, so you can focus on starting the business. Next to this, having a lawyer manage the process can save you time, money and effort.
Dealing with any inheritance matters
Another reason to consider getting a POA in Spain is dealing with inheritance matters in Spain. If you’re inheriting property from one of your Spanish relatives, it is usually more secure if a law firm takes care of it for you so that you don’t have to travel and worry about any legalities.
Obtaining your NIE number (Spanish foreigner identification number)
Lawyers can help you obtain the NIE (Spanish foreign identification number) that you need for many things in Spain. This process is generally relatively straightforward. However, it can be made more complicated by the bureaucracy of government departments. For example, some offices require that specific forms are filled out and signed in person – meaning you have to travel back home if such documents are required. Having an attorney handle everything on your behalf means that you don’t have to worry about anything.
Handling taxes and payments
Solicitors can help you with the day-to-day handling of taxes and payments in Spain. This means that your lawyer will ensure all bills are paid on time to avoid late payment fees or other penalties – as well as ensuring appropriate declarations are made. This may be worth considering if you are residing outside of Spain and find it difficult to manage the paperwork.
Managing bank accounts and direct debits
Another benefit of the Power of Attorney is that your representative can open and manage your bank account for you. If you’re living abroad, it may be difficult to keep track of funds in a Spanish bank account – which could result in incorrect fees being applied or other consequences. This specific POA means they can manage your Spanish bank accounts and make sure any money is transferred to an account where you can access it easily.
Obtaining a Spanish Residency
If you live outside of Spain and would like to obtain a Spanish Visa, (for example the Golden Visa) then the POA is the way to go. This allows an attorney in Spain to handle all the paperwork for you – including registration at the local police station as well as any documentation from the local town hall.
Conducting legal matters (civil or criminal litigation)
Remember, the attorney is required to follow your exact instructions throughout the various procedures and can be limited to a selection of powers. You are still in complete control over your business, and your attorney simply acts on your behalf.
As you can read the powers of attorney can reach a variety of different areas. Letting someone act as your representative in Spain can save you a lot of time, money and effort – ensuring that everything runs smoothly from start to finish.
When you want to open a utility contract in your name, but you can’t be present. With the POA in place, a person will be able to do this for you and make sure all necessary documents are submitted correctly. This can save you from having to travel back or worry about filling out any forms incorrectly. In many cases, it is even possible for the Spanish attorney
What are the benefits of a Power of Attorney?
When executed properly, the POA is a valuable document that can help you protect your rights and assets in Spain, as an individual or business owner. It can also help you avoid the potential for expensive legal fees and time wasted by attempting to handle matters yourself.
Instead, you are able to delegate responsibilities with a professional lawyer in Spain that will be recognised as valid and legally binding under Spanish law – allowing your chosen representative complete control over any tasks or actions they deem necessary.
There are several advantages to using a Power of Attorney in Spain. Particularly for those with a busy schedule or those who currently reside outside of the country, a Power of Attorney gives you the flexibility to conduct legal business and transactions without sacrificing too much of your time or money travelling. Some of the key benefits of signing over Power of Attorney to a trusted legal representative include:
- Safety: With a range of legal requirements and high levels of accountability, issuing a Power of Attorney ensures your assets will be protected, and any matter will be managed according to your exact instructions.
- Speed: By signing overpowers to an attorney, your physical presence is no longer required for any relevant legal matters. If you live in a different country or are unable to attend certain meetings or events, this mandate will assist in speeding up various procedures.
- Accuracy: Granting Power of Attorney to a qualified lawyer will give you peace of mind knowing that with years of experience, they’ll be capable of conducting your transaction with confidence and a high level of accuracy.
- Convenience: A Power of Attorney will help free up your schedule and eliminate the need for you to go through the motions of lengthy legal processes on your own time.
Our trusted team of bilingual lawyers have extensive experience managing Power of Attorney mandates for a variety of situations. If you’re looking to save valuable time by granting a Power of Attorney to a legal representative, then contact us today for professional advice and to learn more about the service we offer.
Frequently asked questions
How long does a Power of Attorney last in Spain??
The Power of Attorneys can be valid for one year, two years or ongoing. We offer Spanish Powers on an annual basis which means that you need to renew your documentation every twelve months. Our solicitors will check the validity period and inform the client of any required actions.
Where can you get the Spanish Power of Attorney?
You can get the Spanish Power of Attorney at any law firm in Spain. You can then sign it in front of a notary in Spain, or at a notary in your home country. When you sign it in your home country, an Apostille certificate from the Hague convention is required. This certificate is issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in your country.
What are the costs?
A power of attorney costs 60€ plus VAT (21%), making the total fee 81€. If you want to give a lawyer a power of attorney, this fee is often included in the total price of the requested services. These services can be property, opening a business, estate planning, tax law and other legal matters.
What is a POA?
POA stands for Power of Attorney. It is a legal document that allows someone you trust to act on your behalf. This person will be able to manage any property, business or other matters for you in Spain – without ever having to visit here themselves.
How long does it take to get the Spanish Power of Attorney?
It takes one to two weeks (excluding weekends) from when you sign your legal papers in Spain and provide us with a copy until we send out the final documents by post or email attachment.
What does a Power of Attorney include?
The Power of Attorneys we offer is valid for any legal matter and will include a complete ‘deed’ with your name, address, date, and details about what you want us to manage. Should someone request more information or proof from our office regarding your Power of Attorney, we are legally obliged to give them the information they request.
Is an English or other countries Power of Attorney valid in Spain?
No. A power of attorney needs to be drafted and executed in Spain. However, we provide a Spanish translation service for existing Power of Attorneys from other countries. Yet, the originals need to have been drawn up within Spain before notaries before any Spanish government body accepts them.
When I get the Spanish Power of Attorney, do I need to be in Spain?
Not necessarily. If a client is not able or willing to come to Spain, they can send us the documents by post, and we will make them legal. We can also issue the Spanish Power of Attorney if your representative goes through our office. In this case, our office will contact the notary, and we will legalise the documentation.
How long does it take to get Power of Attorney?
It takes one week from when you sign your papers at the Spanish consulate or embassy until we send out all final documents by post email attachment. We need around two weeks for processing as we need to receive all documents with a translation.
Can I get the Power of Attorney by email?
Yes, you can provide us with your signature and passport copy through email or fax and then sign the papers in front of our Spanish notary. We will send back all final documents within one week after receiving them, but the total time to process your power of attorney will be around two weeks.
Do you need an Attorney in Spain to get the POA?
No. But if you wish to work with a lawyer simultaneously, they can provide an extra service by acting on your behalf. This way, they can handle all legal matters for you in Spain. Our office can help you communicate with your clients and provide official and legally valid documentation on behalf of you.
Can I grant family members the Power of Attorney?
Yes, you can grant the Spanish Power of Attorney to anyone – family member or not.
Do I need a Power of Attorney when buying or selling a property in Spain?
It is very typical to use a Power of Attorney when buying or selling property in Spain as a foreigner. There are many scams and illegal documents out there that can cost you a lot of money. Typically, a property lawyer will assist with the legal processes to do your property transfer safely with no risk.
Can I sign the Power of Attorney with a Notary in a different country?
Yes, you can sign it in front of a Notary from your country. For example, you can sign the POA document with a notary in the UK. After signing, you need to send us the official notarised document. This document should include the Hague Apostille to make it legal in Spain. A Hague Apostille is a legalisation that confirms the notary is valid in your country. You can get this at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK.
We can offer the Power of Attorney to our customers in Spain.
If you live outside of Spain, cannot attend certain legal events, or prefer a representative handles matters for you. Then a POA in Spain is an ideal choice.
Navigating a foreign legal system in another language can be a challenging task to handle independently. One of our lawyers will be happy to assist you with a Power of Attorney.