Powers of Attorney
This is part two of our guide to using translators when buying a property in Spain. In this section we will look at hiring a representative to act on your behalf, using Powers of Attorney (poderes).
To re-read part one, on instructing a local lawyer, you can click here.
If you’re buying a property in Spain or considering it, a frequently overlooked process is getting translations. You will need to translate many documents from Spanish into English and from English into Spanish over the course of the process.
In our experience of helping our clients buy a Spanish property, there is often confusion over what translations are needed and how much it will all cost.
As a result of this, we wrote a guide to using translators for buying property in Spain (which you can download in full for free here).
Arrange a representative to act on your behalf
Most of the procedures of buying a house in Spain involve physically attending estate agent branches, banks and lawyers’ offices to sign documents.
If you arrange a Power of Attorney (known as POA in English), a suitable representative – sometimes called a proxy or an agent – can act and sign on your behalf, to avoid you having to travel each time.
A power of attorney is a legal contract, arranged through or authorised by a Notary. In Spanish, they are called an “Escritura de Poder” or ‘Poder Notarial”.
Your representative can be your property lawyer or a gestor (a type of local administration manager), or any other person you trust to act on your behalf.
To grant the POA, you will need to sign to say you have understood and agree with its contents, so we highly recommend you have this document translated into English.
The Notary can arrange to have it translated in advance, or you may prefer to arrange for it to be translated yourself.
A Power of Attorney is called an “Escritura de Poder” or ‘Poder Notarial”.
Translate your Power of Attorney
The cheapest and fastest option is to grant your POA in front of a Notary in Spain. This means it will be written in Spanish and so you will need to get it translated into English, to make sure you know what you are agreeing to.
If you can’t travel to Spain, an alternative is to find a solicitor-notary in the UK who is able to prepare a bilingual POA for you. This is usually written in two columns – one in English and one in Spanish.
Once this bilingual version has been drafted, your notary will need to send it to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office for legalisation by the British government. This is known as a Hague Apostille and it is vital for the POA to be considered valid in Spain.
We highly recommend you arrange to translate your Spanish POA yourself, so you can control the price, check for errors, and prepare questions for your Notary before your appointment to sign it.
Coming soon: The next part of this blog will look at applying for an NIE and opening a Spanish bank account, including listing the documents you are likely to need to do so.
If you don’t want to wait, use the form below to access the full guide.