One of the most frequent requests we receive is to notarise a Power of Attorney for use in Spain. We are highly experienced in this field, having notarised hundreds of these types of documents. These documents tend to be required when a person does any of the following in Spain, but will not actually be in Spain to conclude the documentation personally:
- To buy, sell or mortgage property
- To administer the estate of a deceased person
- To commence and conduct litigation in the Spanish courts
- To file documents or enter into transactions with judicial or government bodies
There could be many more reasons why a person would need to have a Spanish power notarised.
In all cases, one or more persons based in Spain (“the attorneys”) are appointed by the person based here in England (“the donor”). The attorneys are often Spanish lawyers, and it is them who prepare the document and send it to the donor in England.
The donor must then arrange to sign it in front of a Notary. The Notary will read through the document with the donor, ensuring all personal details included are correct and that the donor understands the true nature and effect of the document, including the extent of the power being given to the attorneys.
Once the Notary is satisfied that there is full understanding, and having been shown original proofs of identification, he will watch the donor sign the power and then add his signature and seal to fully authenticate the document. The document will usually be sewn with ribbon to ensure document security.
A further step is usually required for Powers of Attorney destined for use in Spain. The document must be legalised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The process involves the affixation of the “Hague Apostille” – a small certificate attached to the back of the notarised document, confirming that the signature and seal shown are indeed those of a Notary Public of England and Wales.
At Thirsk Winton LLP, we are well versed in the procedural requirements for a Spanish power to be properly notarised and legalised, ensuring it is readily accepted in Spain for its intended purpose, thereby ensuring that the transaction which it authorises can proceed in a timely fashion.