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The Ins and Outs of a Spanish Power of Attorney

When living in or dealing with legal matters in Spain, understanding the concept and application of Powers of Attorney (PoA) is crucial. A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows one person (the principal/donor) to appoint another (the attorney) to act on their behalf in various legal and financial matters. Here, we will explore the essentials of a Spanish Power of Attorney, its types, how to obtain one in London, and its benefits and limitations.


Understanding the concept of a Spanish Power of Attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney, known as "Poder Notarial" in Spain, is a formal document that authorises an individual (the attorney) to act on behalf of another person (the principal/donor) in legal, financial, or other matters. It is especially useful for individuals who cannot be physically present to manage their affairs due to living abroad, illness, or other reasons. If you are dealing with such matters, consulting with Spanish lawyers in London or a UK notary specialising in Spanish law can be immensely beneficial.


Types of a Power of Attorney in Spain

General Power of Attorney (Poder General):

This grants the attorney broad powers to act on behalf of the principal/donor in various areas, including financial transactions, property management, and legal proceedings. It is comprehensive and covers almost all aspects of the principal’s legal and financial affairs.


Special Power of Attorney (Poder Especial) :

This type is limited to specific acts or transactions. For example, it can be used to authorise the sale of a property, handle a particular bank account, or represent the principal in a specific legal matter. It is tailored to particular needs and circumstances.


When and Why You Might Need a Power of Attorney

Property Transactions: If you are buying or selling property in Spain but cannot be present for the transaction, a PoA can authorise someone to sign the documents on your behalf. This is where a Spanish notary in London can be of great assistance.

Financial Management: For those who have investments or bank accounts in Spain, a PoA can enable an attorney or agent to manage these assets.

Legal Representation: If you need to attend court or deal with legal matters in Spain, your lawyer will require a a PoA to be able to represent you in court.

Health and Personal Affairs: In cases of illness or incapacity, a PoA can allow someone to make medical or personal decisions on your behalf.


How to Obtain a Power of Attorney in London

Steps for granting a Power of Attorney


Choose Your Attorney:

Select a trusted individual to act as your attorney. This person should be someone you trust implicitly as they will have significant control over your affairs.

Draft the Document and get the document translated for you: You will need to draft the PoA document. This can be done with the help of a lawyer to ensure that it meets all legal requirements and accurately reflects your wishes. Spanish lawyers in London can provide valuable guidance in this process. Lopez & Moreno Associates are able to draft any Power of Attorney in Spanish and in English with any instructions you think fit.

Notarisation: The PoA must be signed in the presence of a notary public. In Spain, notaries play a crucial role in the legal system, ensuring the validity and legality of documents. If you are in London, a Spanish notary in London or a notary in Liverpool Street can assist with this. Lopez & Moreno Associates can offer realiability as we are not only Notaries in the UK but also Spanish lawyers so we can provide you with more advice than a standard UK notary and make changes, if necessary, in the Spanish version of the document too.

Apostille: If the PoA is signed before a notary in the UK to be valid in Spain will need to be legalised with Apostille. This process certifies the document for use abroad.

Legal Requirements

Identification: The principal/donor must provide valid identification such as a passport or national ID card and a valid proof of address.

Language: The document must be in Spanish. If you do not speak Spanish our team of Spanish lawyers and notary will draft the document in Spanish and in English to make sure you understand its contents.

Witnesses: In some cases, additional witnesses may be required, although this is typically handled by the notary.

Benefits of Using a Power of Attorney

Convenience and Flexibility: A PoA allows you to manage your affairs in Spain without being physically present, providing flexibility for those living abroad.

Time-Saving: It saves time by allowing your attorney to handle transactions and legal matters directly without the need for your constant involvement.

Legal Security: By appointing a lawyer or a trusted individual, you ensure that your interests are represented professionally and legally. Spanish Powers of Attorney signed before a notary in the UK and legalised with Apostille are legally binding and recognised by Spanish authorities, providing security and peace of mind.

Limitations and Considerations

Trust and Accountability: The most significant limitation of a PoA is the need for absolute trust in your attorney. Since they will have considerable control over your affairs, any misuse of power can lead to significant issues. Regularly review the actions taken by your attorney to ensure they align with your wishes and interests.

Revocation and Expiration: A PoA can be revoked at any time by the principal/donor, provided they are of sound mind. This revocation must be done by means of a Deed of Revocation signed before a notary and communicated to the attorney and any relevant third parties. Depending on the terms, a PoA may have an expiration date or may terminate upon the principal's death or incapacitation unless it is a durable PoA, which remains in effect even if the principal becomes uncapable.

Understanding the ins and outs of a Spanish Power of Attorney is essential for anyone dealing with legal or financial matters in Spain. It provides a practical solution for managing your affairs remotely and ensures that your interests are represented professionally. However, it also requires careful consideration and trust in the appointed attorney. By following the correct procedures and legal requirements, a Power of Attorney can offer convenience, security, and peace of mind. For those based in London, consulting with Spanish lawyers in London or visiting a notary in the City of London can streamline the process and ensure all legalities are properly handled.

Please do not hesitate to contact Lopez & Moreno Associates if you need advice and assistance on the purchase of your Spanish property.



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