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Powers of Attorney on the Costa del Sol

This guide was written by Manzanares Abogados S.L. (info@manzanaresinternational.com) in collaboration with Guides.Global (office@guides.global).

It was written on 1 June 2016. The law and practice in Spain change all the time. Our guides are updated as frequently as possible - typically every three years - but may be out of date.

Our guides are prepared by professionals from many countries. They are, of necessity, both brief and general and can take no account of your personal circumstances. They are intended to be a good introduction to the subject BUT ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PROPER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE, which our contributors will usually be happy to provide upon request.

The advice and opinions contained in the guides are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Guides.Global.

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The scope of this guide

This guide is about how Powers of Attorney ("Powers") must be prepared for use in Spain.

It describes, in particular, how to deal with a Power of Attorney in the area of Andalusia/Andalucía – which contains the Costa del Sol. See a map here. Please note that certain aspects of the law in Spain vary from one "autonomous community" (comunidad autónoma) lightbulb image - click here for more information on this subject to another.

Introduction

Here on the Costa del Sol we use Powers of Attorney a lot. This is to save our clients from having to come here - often at inconvenient times. Fortunately, the process is quite simple - at least at our end!

We use them mainly for people setting up businesses or buying houses in Spain and for dealing with court cases in Spain. However, they can be used for lots of other purposes.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorises another person to do something such as signing a document, opening a bank account or attending a meeting on your behalf and with your full authority.

They come in different types for different purposes.

The Process

Spain is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 1961 - "The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents". It's also known as the Apostille Convention. Read about it here.

If you live in a country that is also a signatory, the process of granting a Power of Attorney is quite straightforward.

See the Global Guide to Powers of Attorney for details of which countries are signatories and more information about how to grant a Power.

The Starting Point

Your lawyer in Spain will draft the necessary Power on your behalf. This will be after discussing your requirements.

It is important that it contains all of the necessary clauses and so this is not something you should do yourself.

The terms of the Power - the authorities it gives to the person appointed - are usually quite wide to make sure that everything that we might need to do is covered. The authorities here are quite strict in the way they interpret Powers of Attorney and so, if something is not specifically authorised, they are likely to refuse to accept it for that purpose.

The Power must be in Spanish. However, some Notaries will sign Powers in dual language form so that you will understand the document - and you will save the cost of a sworn translation.

Your lawyer should send you a draft of the Power. We do this in Word format so that you can send it on to your local Notary (see below).

If you DO live in a Hague Convention Country

When you receive the Power, you should contact a convenient local Notary and arrange for that Notary to incorporate the text that your lawyer in Spain has sent within another document that meets the needs of your country.

The process is then as described in our Global Guide to Powers of Attorney.

Once the Power has been signed and legalised, send the original to your lawyer in Spain by courier (UPD, DHL, DPD etc). Our postal service on the Costa del Sol is quite good but things can get lost and it takes time and money to replace a lost Power.

If you DON'T live in a Hague Convention Country

The process is more complicated. You will have to ask your local Notary exactly what is required.

Once all of the formalities required to permit the use of the Power in Spain have been completed, send the original to your lawyer in Spain by courier.

Expats' Tips

Have you ever used a Power of Attorney in Spain? Tell us about it and share your story by emailing office@guides.global.

Conclusion

Powers of Attorney are a really useful tool and pretty simple to prepare. It saves you the cost of travelling every time your signature is required, and gives you peace of mind as you know that there is someone that can take care of things when speedy action is required.

Other guides of interest

 Description Link 
Buying a Property on the Costa del Sol
This guide is mainly about buying a resale residential property in Spain in general and in the Costa del Sol in particular. It covers everything from finding a property to closing the deal and looks at the legal framework that operates when you buy a property in Spain.
buying a property in the Costa del Sol
Inheritance on the Costa del Sol
This guide covers the rules in Spain concerning who inherits what when you die.
inheritance in the Costa del Sol
Wills on the Costa del Sol
This guide is about how to make a will that will be valid for use in Spain.
wills in the Costa del Sol
Notaries on the Costa del Sol
This guide explains the roles of Notaries on the Costa del Sol and how to contact a Notary if required.
notaries on the Costa del Sol

You may also want to read:

 Description Link 
European Directory of Notaries
Find a Notary wherever you are in Europe (including on the Costa del Sol, of course!)
notary directory

Readers' Comments

Further information?

We hope you have found this guide useful. If you need any further help, please contact us.

Manzanares Abogados S.L.

1 June 2016

 




 

This guide was co-authored by John Howell (Email: John.Howell@Guides.Global or John@jhco.org. Web: www.jhco.org or www.Guides.Global)

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