We receive many enquiries from older people who either live in Spain or have interests here, who are concerned about what would happen to them if one day they could no longer deal with their affairs themselves and they needed to make arrangements with the bank, or sell a property in Spain, etc.
For these cases, to try to avoid or prevent problems, it can be very advisable to grant a Power of Attorney in favor of their relatives or other trusted person.
General or Special. A Spanish Powers of Attorney could be either general, i.e.: enabling the person you choose, to perform on your behalf, any act permitted in law, such as: manage your assets, investments, real estate, business, etc. Although under Spanish law, there are some acts that are considered “personal acts”, and cannot be done by means of a Power of Attorney on behalf of anybody, such as making a will for example.
It is possible to do a Special Power of Attorney, (SPA) in which the representatives are only empowered to perform certain acts on behalf of the grantor, those stated by the grantor as necessary or appropriate, for example you authorize them to manage the bank accounts and pay bills, but not to sell or buy real estate assets, etc.
Similarly, you can choose the time when the Power starts to have effect. Some of our clients want the Power of Attorney (POA) only to be able to be used when a doctor certifies that the principal has lost some of their ability or capacity, that is, when he/she cannot do things for him/herself.
Other clients want these powers to be used from the first moment until the end. In this regard it should be noted that even if there is a power that provides for the possibility of being used in the case of incapacity of the person who gave it, there would still need to be a process of actually declaring the subject’s incapacity, once they actually became incapacitated. However, with this type of power in place, it has the ability to be used in the meantime, which can be very useful for family and trusted individuals, since it allows them to act and administrate the assets from the very start, before the court case takes place.
When making a Power of Attorney, the grantor must be sure of and have full confidence in the person who is going to be chosen as proxy or representative.
At any time, a power of attorney can be revoked, however, if for whatever reason the principal no longer wants it to exist.
Therefore, to prevent the possible consequences of a situation of short temporary disability or lack of capacity (for example: a long hospitalization, a long stay abroad), or a definitive one, it could be advisable for anyone to grant a Power of Attorney, general or only for those specific faculties desired, in favor of a family member or trusted person of your confidence to help in managing your affairs, rental property or sale, payment receipts, manage bank accounts, etc. It is very important to ensure that power is drafted to meet the individual needs and fulfill the desires of the principal.
For any legal questions you may have, contact us and we will help.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
Spanish Law firm solicitor attorney barrister.
Alicante, Denia, Costa Blanca Marina Alta
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