Procura. Applying A Power of Attorney in Italy

Unable to travel to Italy? Do you need to set up a procura?

Procura. Applying A Power of Attorney in ItalyDo you need to deal with Italian legal matters but you cannot travel to Italy in person? The solution may be to confer a Power of Attorney. This is known as a procura in Italian.

How does an Italian procura work?

A Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal instrument. It allows someone (an agent or attorney) to act on behalf of someone else (the principal). A procura specifies exactly what powers a principal gives to an agent.

Generally speaking, if you use a PoA for an Italian property transaction, it is not advisable to grant a PoA to a real estate agent.  This is to avoid any conflicts of interest. As estate agents work on a commission basis, they may have a vested interest in making the sale.

What are the different types of procura in Italy?

There are two types of PoA in Italy.

Procura speciale

The principal gives limited powers to an appointed agent. The agent can only conduct specified tasks on behalf of the principal. For example, for an Italian property purchase, if you cannot be in Italy to complete the sale, you can grant this power to your appointed agent who can then sign the deed of sale on your behalf.

Procura generale

The principal grants a wide range of powers to their agent. In effect, the agent can do almost anything the principal could do.

The principal can revoke either type of PoA at any time.

Does Italy recognise foreign Powers of Attorney?

If you draw up a PoA in your home country, you will need to take steps to get it recognised overseas. To do this, your PoA will require an apostille.

Apostilles certify official documents for international use. Apostilles are valid in all jurisdictions that are signatories to the provisions of the Hague Convention (1961) 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. The U.S Department of State is responsible for apostilles in the U.S.A and in Australia you should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Finally …

A PoA is a sensitive legal matter. You are entrusting the management of some or all of your legal and financial affairs to someone else.

You should only appoint someone 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.

While you are waiting for formalisation of an apostille, we are able to check the validity of signatures. We can provide a provisional confirmation that these appear genuine.

Before you prepare a PoA applicable in Italy, it is worthwhile seeking legal advice from a cross border legal specialist. If you would like to discuss your situation, please get in touch with us at info@detulliolawfirm.com

You may also be interested in Italian Attorney

What Is An Apostille?

How can you ensure official documents are recognised abroad?

If a document is intended for use in another country, there may be a further formality of recognition. The procedure is generally described as a “legalisation” although it is sometimes referred to as “consularisation”. In order to use an official document overseas, you may therefore require an apostille. What exactly does this mean?

In this article, we are going to explain apostilles and how you can go about getting them.

Firstly, an apostille is a stamp that is placed on a document by a designated competent authority. The stamp should read, “Apostille” and confirms that an official source has issued your document and that the receiving country can accept the document as authentic.

Secondly, the Hague Convention (1961) governs mutual recognition of documents between signatories. Therefore, apostilles are valid in countries that have adopted provisions of the convention.

The information in an apostille follows a prescribed format

1. Country of issue

2. Who has signed the document

3. The capacity in which the person signed the document

4. Details of any seal on the document

5. Place of issue

6. Date of issue

7. Issuing authority

8. Apostille Certificate number

9. Stamp of issuing authority

10. Signature of representative of issuing authority

What type of documents require an apostille for use abroad?

All apostilles are similar. However, not all documents are processed in the same way. There is a wide variety of documents that may require an apostille. It is therefore important to prepare properly and submit the correct version for authentication with an apostille.

For example, you may require apostilles for documents of an administrative nature such as, birth, marriage and death certificates or a grant of probate or a power of attorney.

If you are, for instance, doing business overseas, you may require an apostille for official documents. These might include extracts from commercial registers or other registers; patents; notarial acts such as property titles; notarial attestations of signatures. If on the other hand, you want to study abroad, you may need an apostille for school, university and other academic diplomas.

Where can you obtain an apostille?

This depends where your document originated so check that and then apply for an apostille in the issuing country.

Signatories to the Hague Convention designate who can deliver apostilles. For example, in the UK, the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office provides apostille services. In the USA, the U.S Department of State is responsible. In Australia you should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The authorities in the receiving country may require a translation. In this case, you will need to get the translation of your document certified rather than the original document. Depending on requirements and the type of document, you may need a translation by a sworn translator.

As the subject of apostilles can be somewhat complex, the Hague website has published a useful brochure, which includes a FAQ: The ABCs of Apostille

Finally …

If you need support with apostilles, please get in touch with us. While you are waiting for formalisation of an apostille, we are able to check the validity of signatures. We can provide a provisional confirmation that these appear genuine.

For over 55 years, De Tullio Law Firm has been providing international clients with independent legal advice throughout Italy. We are specialists in cross border property, inheritance and family law.

 

You may also be interested in Power of Attorney

 

 

 

 

 

How Do UK Nationals Obtain Permanent Italian Residency?

Visa requirements

UK nationals are now subject to immigration requirements in Italy.

If you stay in Italy for more than 90 days within any 180 day period, you will need a visa.

Becoming a permanent Italian resident post Brexit

Since January 1st, 2021, if you wish to become resident in Italy, you need to follow the same rules as non-EU nationals. You will therefore need an Elective Residence Visa (ERV).

This is a long-term visa for non-EU citizens who intend to live in Italy. Firstly, you must be able to prove that you own or rent a property in Italy. In addition, you must be able to evidence that you can support yourself autonomously. Your income must be from a source other than employment.

You should apply for an ERV through the Italian Consulate in London.

An ERV is valid for 1 year after which, it may be renewed at your Provincial police headquarters (questura). You will need to demonstrate that you still meet the original requirements for an ERV.

If you are experiencing difficulties obtaining an ERV or if your application has been rejected, you may be interested in reading this article: ERV case study.

UK nationals living in Italy prior to January 1st 2021

If you were resident in Italy before January 1st 2021, the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement from The EU protects your residency and citizens’ rights.

You can now apply for a Biometric Residency Card (Carta di Soggiorno Elettronica). The Biometric Residency Card is an electronic residence document for UK nationals and their families. It provides further evidence of your right to reside in Italy. Furthermore, Biometric Residency Card can replace other residency paperwork when you are travelling in Italy or other countries in the Schengen Zone.

Finally …

We understand that Italian residency matters can be confusing and difficult to navigate. If you have any questions about what action you should take or if you need help concerning an Elective Residence Visa or a Biometric Residency Card, please get in touch with us at: info@detulliolawfirm.com

 

Buying Cultural Heritage in Italy

Buying a historic property in Italy?

Cultural heritage site: Trulli of AlberobelloItaly is rich in artistic and cultural heritage. In fact, the UNESCO committee has declared Italy the country with the most world heritage sites.  These cultural heritage sites comprise cities, towns, and real estate. View the full list of world heritage sites in Italy at UNESCO.

If you are considering purchasing a historic property in Italy, you should conduct specific technical and legal due diligence. Your checks should include property titles, zoning restrictions, building and planning compliance.

To preserve cultural heritage sites and listed buildings, specific heritage conservation regulations are in place. Known as Vincolo Paegistico, the regulations apply to listed properties and zones of historical or environmental importance. Vincolo Paegistico aim to protect listed sites and properties from any work that could damage heritage and aesthetic value. Therefore, any work, construction or modernisation must adhere to the regulations.

How do Vincolo Paegistico regulations work?

To build on land subject to Vincolo Paegistico restrictions you need detailed authorisation. Likewise if you want to make any changes to an existing listed property.

Vincolo Paegistico regulations are wide-ranging. They extend to building amnesties in the event of illegal work, including where work was carried out prior to the building becoming a listed property. They also include regulations regarding minimum distance from protected watercourses. Furthermore, restrictions exist pertaining to demolition and reconstruction.

The latter covers the exterior and interior of a listed property. It can therefore be a complex process to make even minor external and internal changes. This doesn’t mean renovations are impossible.

However, you will only be able to make changes once you have obtained detailed permission for the work. Authorisation will be granted by the Region, provided it does not affect the value or cultural importance of the property. The Region bases its decisions on a binding opinion from the Superintendency of Landscape and Environmental Heritage (Sovrintendenza ai Beni paesaggistici e ambientali).

How do I know if the property is listed or in a conservation area?

Before you proceed with your Italian property purchase, check whether the property or area is subject to any heritage conservation restrictions. To know exactly whether an area is subject to constraints, you can request a Certificato di sussistenza di vincolo paesistico (Certificate of the existence of conservation constraints). You can obtain this from the office for landscape protection in your respective Province or Region. A useful starting point is to look at the Regional Landscape Plan.

What should I do if my property is subject to heritage conservation constraints?

For any project on a listed building, you must submit detailed plans. If your plans are in accordance with regulations, Cultural Heritage Code (Legislative Decree 42/2004), you should be able to get permission. The provisions within the Code that regulate heritage conservation are Articles 136 and 142. These Articles specifically regulate the issue of authorisation by the competent body (Region). The Region verifies that planned work is compatible with the zoning status of the area / property and then issues the authorisation

Finally …

The key to making your Italian property project as safe and smooth as possible is to appoint a legal team that speaks your language. De Tullio Law Firm has a thorough understanding of Italian real estate law and decades of experience managing Italian property transactions.

Whether you are purchasing a property or planning a property project, we are right by your side. Get in touch with us: info@detulliolawfirm.com

You may also be interested in Buying property in Italy

Can I still buy property in Italy after Brexit?

What is reciprocity?

Sovereign laws, set by individual countries, have always been applicable when it comes to property purchases – even prior to Brexit.

For example, when you buy property in England, the applicable law is that of England and Wales. When you buy property in Italy, you purchase according to the laws of Italy.

As members of the World Trade Organisation, both the UK and Italy signed up to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in 1995.

Commitments made by the UK and Italy therefore allow UK and Italian nationals to purchase properties in each others’ countries. This is known as reciprocity so there are no barriers regarding market access or treatment of foreign purchasers.

Reciprocal commitments made within GATS, establish a quid pro quo principle

Essentially, you can invest in Italy so long as your home country allows Italian nationals to invest there.

The Italian Consulate in London recently analysed relevant legislation and consulted with UK authorities on the subject of reciprocity.  They have confirmed that the status of reciprocity for foreigners in the UK is, in principle, maintained following Brexit.

Therefore, ownership of real estate,  establishment of companies, the acceptance of inheritance or gifts are not conditional on citizenship.

However, purchasing property or setting up a company in the UK does not automatically confer the right to reside or work in the UK. The same is valid for UK nationals in Italy. If you want to reside or work in Italy, you will need to obtain an Elective Residence Visa and permits.

Finally …

For over 55 years, De Tullio Law Firm has been providing international clients with independent legal advice. We offer services in all the major fields of Italian law with particular expertise in real estate, residency, family law and inheritance matters. If you would like to discuss your Italian residency situation, please get in touch with us.

You may also be interested in How to get a mortgage in Italy.

New Biometric Residency Card for UK Nationals Living in Italy