Getting a Power of Attorney
You are probably familiar with the term Power of Attorney (POA). Often in the context of elderly parents who grant powers to their adult children to act on their behalf when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. In the UK there are POA for health & welfare and for finances.
More than 90% of our clients grant us POA to act on their behalf when buying a Spanish property. In the long run a POA saves our clients time and money. The powers enable us to progress the transaction for them, without the need to travel to Spain every time a signature is required.
A Spanish POA can be done in the UK, although it is simpler and cheaper to do it when you are in Spain. You just need to contact us when you know you are coming and we can make the arrangements for you.
The essentials of setting up a POA
A POA gives legally approved authority to your independent Spanish lawyer to act on your behalf before, during and after your property purchase.
It is important to understand the scope of the powers that you will be passing over to your lawyer, and you should discuss any specific requirements with them. Your lawyer will then draft the POA. In reality, our lawyers are preparing these documents regularly, so this stage should be straightforward.
Crucially, the POA will contain safeguards to protect you in the unlikely event of fraudulent activity and ensure that your lawyer is given no more power than is necessary.
Everything agreed, the next step is to legalise the POA document under Spanish law. For this to happen, you need to sign it and have it legalised by a Notary. This is a simpler process if you’re in Spain. Your lawyer will accompany you to a local notary, at a pre-arranged time, where the signing takes place.
The POA is signed and legalised – what next?
Your lawyer will apply for your NIE number(s), and with that, open your Spanish bank account. It is advantageous if you can get these elements completed early on. You are now ideally placed to start your property search, and, ahead of the game when you find a property you fall in love with and want to buy. It is a sellers’ market in our part of Spain at the moment, so preparation is more important than ever. We have a POA, NIE and bank account package to make this convenient for you.
Buying a property, POA and the legal process
The POA enables your lawyer to progress at every stage of the purchase process. We often sign the purchase contract, and oversee completion at the notary’s office. We carry out all procedures leading up to completion without you needing to set foot in Spain. Naturally we liaise with you at each step along the way.
Of course some clients want to be present at the completion as it is the culmination of many years of planning. In this case, we are delighted to come with you to the notary and celebrate your happiness in becoming a Spanish property owner!
The scope of the POA extends to services after you have completed. We will liaise with utility companies to organise change overs or new connections, set up Direct Debits for regular payments, including council tax (SUMA).
When the new Title Deeds for your property are available at the Land Registry (this doesn’t happen on the day of completion), we will collect them for you and also store them.
You can also choose to give us power to handle your tax affairs in Spain and, if moving over here permanently, apply for your visa/residency permits.
Setting up a Spanish POA from the UK
As mentioned earlier, the POA can be set up without you travelling to Spain, but the process has a couple of extra stages. We would still discuss with you the scope of the POA and draft the document. We would recommend a British Notary at a location convenient to you. We would send them the document and both of you will sign it. (NOTE: You will need to take with you proof of ID and address). For the signed document to be legally binding in Spain, it will need to be sent to The Foreign and Commonwealth Office with a request for an Apostille. This is an authentication certificate. Either you or the UK Notary can arrange this and there is a pre-payment for the service. We are then sent the original documentation, we notify you when we receive this and the process is then formally completed.
Granting POA to your lawyer now, enables them to start the process of obtaining your NIE and opening a Spanish bank account, giving you the edge over less prepared buyers. Let us help you. Email email@example.com or call (from Spain) 965 321 193 (from UK) 0800 130 3669.