Power of Attorney Or Procura in Italy

Clients engage me because they trust my knowledge and experience to handle their legal affairs in Italy

Power of attorney or procura

Giandomenico De Tullio. Managing Partner. De Tullio Law Firm.

Often, clients give me their power of attorney or “procura” in Italian. This allows me to manage some or all their financial and legal affairs in Italy.

It is important to understand the legal ramifications in the event you need a procura in Italy. They are frequently used for property transactions and inheritance matters.

While you may have heard of a procura, you may not be entirely sure what purpose it serves. In order to shed a little light on the subject, here are a few facts about  a procura.

What is a procura?

A procura is a legal instrument. In accordance with Italian law, it must take the form of a notarised deed.

In effect, a procura allows you, the “principal”, to give powers to someone else, your “attorney”. The attorney may then act on the principal’s behalf.

The legal instrument specifies exactly what powers the principal gives to their appointed attorney.

Are there different types of Power of Attorney or procura in Italy?

There are two types of power of attorney in Italy, “procura speciale” and “procura generale”. The type of procura you choose will depend on whether you are granting it for specific tasks or for the execution of a series of activities not determined in advance.

Procura speciale

The powers of a procura speciale are limited. In conferring this type of procura, the principal gives very specific tasks and or limited powers to their appointed attorney. For instance, if you are purchasing a property in Italy, but cannot be in Italy to sign the deed of sale, you can confer a procura speciale on someone to sign the deed of sale on your behalf.

Likewise, for example, if you live abroad and have inherited assets in Italy but you are unable to travel to Italy to start the inheritance process. In this case, you could appoint an attorney to start probate for you or re-register assets in your name or organise the division of assets between co-heirs.

Procura generale

A procura generale entitles your appointed attorney to do almost anything you, the principal, could do. In effect, you would be delegating the management of all your legal and financial affairs.

In what circumstances can a Power of Attorney be revoked?

A principal can use the notarised deed to expressly revoke either a procura speciale  or a procura generale at any time. Otherwise, the deed usually expires with the principal’s death.

Sometimes however, a principal may decide to make a procura irrevocable. In this case, even when the principal dies or if the principal becomes legally incapcitated, the attorney’s powers to manage the principal’s affairs endure.

What should you consider if you are think of conferring a Power of Attorney?

You should be extremely careful about who you chose as your attorney. You are delegating the management of legal and financial matters to someone else. Hence, it is extremely important that you entrust these matters to a reliable and competent person, preferably a professional such as a lawyer. Appointing anyone who does not have enough experience or who may have a conflict of interests is highly inadvisable.

What are the legal requirements for a Power of Attorney?

As a procura involves drafting a legal document, you should seek independent professional advice. Because each case is different, there isn’t a one size fits all solution. The principal must clearly define the attorney’s tasks and responsibilities.

As previously mentioned, in order for a procura to be legal in Italy, it must be a notarised deed. You can sign the  document while you are in Italy, or in your home country.

Depending on your home country, the document may need to be authenticated by an apostille. You should be able to check procedures for your home country online, or we would be happy to advise you.

Finally …

Giving someone a power of attorney or procura is a very sensitive legal matter. You are granting the management of all or some of your legal and financial affairs to someone else. Make sure you seek the help of an independent legal professional before conferring a power of attorney or procura.

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.

Contact us today. We are here to help.

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