Once you have found the property you’d like to buy in Spain, you want it to proceed as quickly as possible. The buying process requires a number of signatures and appearances at the Spanish notary. Depending on where you are living, this can present problems and if you are a non-resident it can be particularly difficult to organise. This is where the power of attorney becomes a vital tool in the quest to secure your new property in Spain.
What is the power of attorney?
The power of attorney (Poder Notarial) is a means of enabling the legal process to continue without you being there in person. It allows you to nominate a trusted person to represent you in certain transactions and is a legal document that must be signed in the presence of a notary.
The good news is that a power of attorney can be obtained either here in Spain or in your home country. So, if you did spot the ideal property on the last day of your holiday it is possible to return home and make the arrangements from there.
You will need to go to either the Spanish Embassy in your home country or a local public notary, a much quicker journey than a return trip to Spain.The power of attorney will then be validated by the Foreign Office who will stamp it with the seal of the Apostille of the Hague.
The Apostille of the Hague
The Apostille is a stamp that is part of a standardised legalisation procedure valid between certain countries. It enables documents to be shared across borders in the confidence that they are the legal, valid item. The agreement was made as part of an international treaty – ‘The Hague Convention of 1961’ and has become a very important method of completing transactions from abroad.
Once you have your power of attorney verified then you will need to have it translated into Spanish. The Apostille of the Hague might demonstrate that it’s an official document but does not enable a Spanish lawyer to know what it contains!
You cannot just ask anyone with a command of Spanish to do the translation. ‘Sworn translators’ are specially qualified and registered for this purpose. They will sign and stamp their translation, again confirming its authenticity.
Once your representative has the power of attorney then they can continue to put your purchase in motion right through to completion whilst you continue about your ordinary business at home.
Who should you trust?
You will have gathered by now that having a power of attorney is very beneficial but also carries great responsibility. It is usual for parameters to be included when the document is drawn up. So, for example, your representative might be limited to completing the actions needed for the purchase of a property and no more.
With these safeguards in place it is still very important that you select your representative carefully. In most cases people will choose an official, legal representative such as Ábaco as they can offer experience of the process and provide the sworn translation.
Buying your dream Spanish property can be a straight forward process, with a little forethought and preparation that is.
This article is based upon the information supplied in our property conveyancing handbook; ‘Buying a property in Spain’. If you would like your own free copy of the handbook you can order it by clicking HERE
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