22 December, 2016
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Powers of attorney granted abroad


which appears very simple and is so commonly seen in Ibiza and Formentera is a power of attorney granted abroad by a buyer or seller. This can become a problem at the last minute, when it does not allow for the public deed to be signed. It is important to distinguish between: (i) powers of attorney where the foreign notary merely identifies the grantor and validates his or her signature and (ii) those powers of attorney which are true public documents, in which the notary not only identifies the grantor and witnesses him or her signing the document, but has also ensured the legality of the document and the grantor’s capacity to understand and consent to its legal effects.

The difference

has nothing to do with legalisation procedures or affixing the Apostille to the document in question: legalisation or the Apostille accredit that it has met the formal requirements imposed by the granting country, but does not mean that the foreign notary acted with all the guarantees of a Spanish notary. For this, you must judge this power of attorney’s equivalence of effects. To summarise briefly, if the real estate to be sold or purchased is located in Spain, the power of attorney that will be used to buy or sell it must be a power of attorney whose granting provides equivalent guarantees to those which would be granted by the same power of attorney from a Spanish notary.

A recent resolution

passed by Spain’s General Directorate for Registries and Public Notaries on powers of attorney granted before notaries public in London — though the same resolution could apply to some powers granted before French or Belgian notaries — has set off alarms: it is not enough to sign the power of attorney before a foreign notary, transcribe the necessary legal capacities and Apostille it. For the power of attorney to be valid in Spain, it must be equivalent to a power of attorney granted before a Spanish notary; that’s to say, it must be a public instrument. A mere validation of the grantor’s signature is not enough.

This post is also available in: Spanish French

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About Javier Cuevas

Javier Cuevas

Notary in Jesus

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  • Angus Ross
    2017-02-08 10:56

    Very nice article, exactly what I wanted to find.

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