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Power of Attorney in Spain

Power of Attorney in Spain

Updated on Friday 08th November 2019

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A power of attorney is a legal document that is used in many European countries by persons who are not able to attend certain events or places and who want to be represented by someone else who will have the power to act on behalf of them for signing contracts, taking decisions, submitting documents etc.
 
The power of attorney in Spain provides numerous advantages, as this is a document that can be used for a wide range of legal matters; for example, it can be used during the procedure of purchasing a local property or for the formalities involved in inheritance matters.
 
 
At the same time, the document can be used for business purposes and it can be granted to a natural person, such as a family member of the donor, or to our team of Spanish lawyers, who can represent the businessman in a wide range of corporate aspects. 
 
 

Concluding a Spanish power of attorney

 
The Spanish power of attorney, known as poder notarial in the local language, has to be concluded in writing. The document must be drawn in front of a public notary and it must clearly stipulate the types of activities that are granted to another person (who can be a family member, a lawyer, etc). 
 
The public notary will verify the identity of the donor and he/she will make a statement regarding the donor, who understands the effects and the content of the power of attorney. The content of a power of attorney may vary from one document to another and it will be chosen according to the needs of the donor, who can give broad or limited powers to a third party.
 
For certain legal issues, such as the registration of a company, investors may give the power of attorney to a Spanish lawyer who will handle the entire procedure. In this case, the presence of the company’s investors on the Spanish territory is no longer required.  
 
Foreigners can request a power of attorney when they are outside Spain and, in this case, the document must contain the Apostille of the Hague, an official stamp that attests the fact that the respective document is valid in both the country of origin of the donor, as well as on the Spanish territory. The Hague Apostille can be obtained in Spain from three different institutions, depending on the issuer of the power of attorney. The regulations in this sense are provided by the Spanish Ministry of Justice
 

Power of attorney for real estate transactions in Spain

 
If a foreign investor wants to buy a property in this country, he or she can give the power of attorney to another person, such as an attorney in Spain, who will be responsible for the for concluding the sale/purchase contract. When the foreign citizen wants to take care personally of certain issues, he or she may stipulate in the document specific operations that will fall under the responsibility of our team of lawyers in Spain
 
The document can provide the right to handle various aspects that are usually required when purchasing a property. For example, our lawyers in Spain can receive the right to open a bank account, make specific payments, concluding various contracts related to the respective property (such as utility contracts) and others. 
 
A power of attorney in Spain may or may not have an expiry date and the second option is used when it is difficult to estimate the period of a certain operation, such as buying a property or concluding a contract. A power of attorney is considered terminated after the death of the donor and the Spanish lawyer or the other person who was granted with the power of attorney cannot act on behalf of the donor even if they haven’t concluded the deal or the operation they were supposed to. 
 

What types of powers of attorney can be found in Spain? 

 
As we mentioned earlier, the legislation in Spain provides the possibility of signing various types of powers of attorney, depending on the type of legal situation that is of interest for a person or for a legal entity. The Spanish law recognizes several basic categories of powers of attorney, which can be presented at length by our team of Spanish lawyers. Below, we present the main categories available here:
 
  • the general power of attorney – it is signed for a wide range of legal actions and it provides general powers to a given person;
  • the special power of attorney – it is signed with the purpose of being used for a very specific legal task;
  • preventative power of attorney – a type of power of attorney that is signed with the purpose of granting legal rights to a person representing another person that anticipates that he or she will have diminished mental capacity of physical capacity;
  • the preventative power of attorney is known as Poder Preventivo in Spanish;
  • regarding the latter type of power of attorney, the provisions of the Spanish Civil Code (Article 1732) will apply. 
 
It is necessary to know that the Spanish law also provides another type of power of attorney, that is similar with the Poder Preventivo. As a general rule, the Poder Preventivo is signed with the purpose of granting the power to manage one’s financial assets once the person has lost his or her mental capacity. 
 
The other type of power of attorney, similar with the Poder Preventivo, is the Autotutela, or the Appointment of Tutor; our team of lawyers in Spain can assist with in-depth advice on the characteristics of this type of document, but it is necessary to know that is generally signed in the eventuality in which the donor will lose his or her capacity (mental or physical), but it deals with the care aspects of life (health decisions, the place where the person should live based on the characteristics of his or her medical state and other similar matters). 
 

What does the Spanish power of attorney contain? 

 
The power of attorney in Spain is comprised of a set of provisions that have to be clearly stipulated. Although the purpose of the document can vary, specific information has to be added regardless of the type of power of attorney selected for a certain legal purpose. Thus, it must provide information the person granting the power of attorney (personal details, such as name, address, etc), and information on the person who was granted with the power of attorney
 
It must also include details on the public notary where the power of attorney was concluded, and, in the case in which the document was signed in another country, it must also contain an apostille that was issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Other basic characteristics of a Spanish power of attorney are the following:
 
  • the place where the document is concluded and the date at which it is signed;
  • the name of the public notary and the city where the public notary operates;
  • the purpose of the power of attorney and the rights granted to another person;
  • the name of the persons who acted as witnesses when the document was signed;
  • the signatures of the parties and the stamp of the public notary.  
 

What are the taxes applied by public notaries in Spain? 

 
The power of attorney is a type of legal document that must be signed in front of a public notary. The public notary typically imposes a fee that is calculated as a percentage, but it can also apply fixed rates. For example, the fee is charged as a percentage when dealing with documents signed and notarized for the purchase of a property, a complex procedure that can be presented by our Spanish law firm. Some of the basic fees are presented below: 
 
  • when purchasing a new property in Spain, the fee charged by the notary is of 1.9% from the value of the property, when referring to a property with a price of up to EUR 100,000;
  • the fee requested by the public notary will decrease as the value of the property increases (thus, it can be charged at 0.9% or at 0.7%, for properties with a value of more than EUR 250,000);
  • it is also important to know that the notary will issue a title deed on the purchase of the property, and the fee for this is fixed, as it can range from EUR 600 to EUR 900;
  • the lowest transfer prices for a property in Spain are available in the region of Melilla, where the transfer costs are available at 3.1% from the value of the property;
  • the highest costs are available in the regions of Catalonia, Valencia or Galicia (applicable at a rate of 10.1% from the value of the property). 
 
 
Other situations when a power of attorney is considered terminated are when the donor is declared insolvent or when he or she decides to revoke the document. In order to revoke the power of attorney, it is necessary to conclude a Deed of Revocation of Power of Attorney. Persons interested in granting the power of attorney may contact our law firm in Spain. Our team of Spanish lawyers can represent foreigners in a wide range of legal matters.