Unlocking Cross-Border Legal Transactions: Spanish Power of Attorney with Lopez & Moreno Associates
In an increasingly interconnected world, legal processes often need to span borders and jurisdictions. This is where the concept of "Power of Attorney" (PoA) becomes crucial. In Spain, as in many other countries, a Power of Attorney is a powerful legal tool that can simplify a variety of transactions, facilitate decision-making, and provide individuals and companies in London or elsewhere with a greater degree of control over their affairs. This blog aims to shed light on the power of attorney and its significance within the Spanish context. Lopez & Moreno Associates stands as a beacon of excellence in facilitating Spanish Power of Attorney services within the city of London and the wider UK.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants authority to one person (usually known as the "attorney" or "agent") to act on behalf of another person (the "principal", “grantor” or “appearer”) in specific matters. A Power of Attorney allows the attorney to act in Spain on behalf of the principal without leaving London or the UK. This authority can range from making financial decisions, managing property, conducting legal transactions, and even making medical decisions in certain cases. It essentially allows the appointed agent to step into the shoes of the principal, making decisions as if they were the principal themselves.
Types of Spanish Powers of Attorney
In Spain, there are various types of Powers of Attorney, each serving a distinct purpose:
General Power of Attorney: this grants broad authority to the agent to handle a wide range of matters on behalf of a principal based in London or elsewhere. It is often used when the principal anticipates being unavailable for an extended period or when they want someone to manage their affairs due to illness or other reasons.
Special Power of Attorney: also known as Limited Power of Attorney, this grants the agent authority for specific tasks or within a specific context, it allows the principal to delegate the handling of their affairs from London or elsewhere. For instance, a special Spanish Power of Attorney can be used to represent the principal in a real estate transaction, to accept Spanish probates, apply for NIE, administer assets, banking matters or even delegate paternal rights (‘guarda y custodia’).
Power of Attorney for Court Proceedings: contrary to what happens in the UK where solicitors can attend court without a formal Power of Attorney, in Spain it is necessary to have one in place for a lawyer to act in court on behalf of the principal, whether based in London or in other parts of the UK. It is common for two groups of professionals to be appointed, on the one hand, the lawyers and on the other the court attorneys (“Procuradores”).
Key considerations when granting a Spanish Power of Attorney?
Regardless of the type of Spanish Power of Attorney we are dealing with, they can be modified to meet the specific requirements of the principal/appearer by:
Including an expiration date.
Stating a sale minimum value if the PoA is for the transfer of a property.
Giving powers for one or more people to act jointly or severally.
Detailing the Land Registry details of a property.
Allowing the powers to be in force even if the principal loses mental capacity.
Can a Spanish Power of Attorney be revoked?
Indeed, a Spanish Power of Attorney can be easily revoked at any time by signing a Deed of Revocation before a Notary Public and serving notice of such revocation onto the attorney/s. From our office in London, Lopez & Moreno Associates can help you with this when necessary.
What is the significance of a Spanish Power of Attorney?
Real Estate transactions: for those who own property in Spain but cannot be physically present for transactions, a Spanish Power of Attorney allows them to appoint someone to handle the process on their behalf, This is especially useful for property owners who are based in London or other parts of the UK.
Business transactions: if you are running a business, a Spanish Power of Attorney can empower a trusted individual to make business decisions, sign contracts, and manage operations in your absence, even if you are in London.
Medical decisions: a healthcare Spanish Power of Attorney is crucial to ensure that your medical preferences are respected, if you are unable to communicate them yourself. This can be especially important in times of unexpected illness or emergencies.
Efficiency and convenience: having a Spanish Power of Attorney can significantly streamline bureaucratic processes, reducing the need for the principal's physical presence in various legal matters, even if they are located in London.
Creating a Spanish Power of Attorney
It is essential to consult a notary public when creating a Spanish Power of Attorney to ensure that it accurately reflects your intentions and is legally binding.
From our London base at Lopez & Moreno Associates, we can prepare tailor-made Spanish Powers of Attorney ‘Poder Notarial’ to meet your specific requirements that adhere to Spanish laws and regulations. We are not only notaries but also Spanish lawyers, which makes this firm unique in the sphere of drafting and notarising your power of attorney.
All the above-mentioned services are provided with the comfort of signing the Power of Attorney in the UK, without having to travel to Spain only for this purpose. If you are in London or close to London, you can visit our office near Liverpool Street or we could make a home/office visit.
If you are based anywhere else in the UK, at Lopez & Moreno Associates, we can also assist you with your Spanish Power of Attorney: we draft your document according to the Spanish legal formalities and directly in both languages, Spanish and English, saving you future translation costs, then we deal with the Apostille legalization for full effectiveness in Spain.
Is it necessary to register the Spanish Power of Attorney?
Generally speaking, Spanish Powers of Attorney need not be registered at a central registry in order to be effective. Some types such as medical or general Spanish company Powers of Attorney require registration. Should this be the case, Lopez & Moreno Associates can, of course, assist you with this process from our London office.
The Spanish Power of Attorney is a powerful legal instrument that holds great significance in Spain, allowing individuals to navigate complex legal, financial, and medical matters with ease and efficiency. Whether you are a property owner or a businessperson living in London / UK, or simply wish to plan for unforeseen circumstances, a Power of Attorney can provide peace of mind by ensuring your wishes are carried out, even when you are not physically present.