Unable to travel to Italy?
If for any reason, you are unable to reach Italy in person to fulfil legal obligations such as signing legal documents or dealing with Italian succession procedures, the solution may be to confer a Power of Attorney.
How does a Power of Attorney work?
A Power of Attorney – “Procura” in Italian, is a legal instrument that allows someone (an agent or attorney) to act on behalf of someone else (the principal). A “Procura” specifies exactly what powers the principal grants to the appointed agent. These powers can be either limited or extensive in scope.
What are the different types of Power of Attorney in Italy?
There are two types of Power of Attorney in Italy.
- A Procura speciale: The principal gives limited permission to an appointed agent to conduct very specific tasks on their behalf. For example, if you are purchasing real estate in Italy but, you cannot be in Italy in person to sign contracts or a deed of sale, you can arrange a Power of Attorney so that someone can sign on your behalf.
- A Procura generale: The principal entitles an appointed agent to do almost anything the principal could do.
The principal can revoke both types at any time. It is important to note that in the context of a property transaction, conferring a Power of Attorney on a real estate agent is not generally permitted. This is to avoid a potential conflict of interests: estate agents are not qualified to offer legal advice and, as they work on a commission basis, they have a vested interest in making sales.
How can I get my Power of Attorney recognised in Italy?
For your Power of attorney to be recognised overseas, the document will first have to be notarised and be presented with an apostille. Apostilles are used to certify official documents for international use. Apostilles are valid in jurisdictions that have adopted the provisions of the Hague Convention on the mutual recognition of documents.
Italy, the UK, the USA and Australia are all signatories to the Hague Convention. In the UK, you can obtain apostille services through the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office, in the USA the U.S Department of State, in Australia you should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, while you are waiting for an apostille to be formalised, at De Tullio Law Firm, we are able to check the validity of signatures, stamps or seals and provide a provisional confirmation that these appear genuine
A Power of Attorney is a sensitive legal matter as you are entrusting the management of some or all your legal and
financial affairs to someone else. You should only appoint someone who you are confident will act responsibly in your interests, has the necessary skills and is competent, reliable and willing to act for you. We, therefore, recommend that you confer your Power of Attorney on a professional such as a solicitor.
If you are looking to prepare a Power of Attorney to apply in Italy, it is worthwhile seeking legal advice from a cross border legal specialist. At De Tullio Law Firm, we are able to draft Powers of Attorney specific to your circumstances, assist you with implementation and act on your behalf in Italy. Please get in touch with us at email@example.com
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