Submitting English documents in Spain as part of an official procedure requires legalising the documents so they can take effect in Spain and get the legalised documents translated by a Spanish sworn translator.
English powers of attorney are a good example of documents often requiring Spanish sworn translation. A power of attorney is a legal document whereby you (the donor) appoint another person (the attorney) to make decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself.
Types of English powers of attorney
General (also called ‘ordinary’) powers of attorney
A general or ordinary power of attorney allows you to appoint an attorney for a defined period to make financial decisions on your behalf, particularly when you need someone to deal with a specific issue or for a specific period. For example, you can grant a power of attorney allowing someone else to manage some affairs while you are away. General or ordinary powers of attorney are not ongoing powers – they are valid only while you have mental capacity. Your attorney will not be able to continue acting on your behalf after you lose your mental capacity.
Lasting powers of attorney
Also referred to as LPAs, lasting powers of attorney allow someone else to act on your behalf after you lose your mental capacity. They must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian to be valid. There are two types:
LPA for property and financial affairs. This type replaced the former enduring power of attorney (EPA) in 2007. It allows the attorney to deal with your property and financial affairs even after you lose your mental capacity. You can choose to allow your attorney to start acting on your behalf as soon as the LPA is registered, or to defer the starting date until you lose your mental capacity. The Scottish equivalent of an English LPA for property and financial affairs is a continuing PoA.
LPA for health and welfare. It allows an attorney to make decisions related to your health and welfare after you lose your mental capacity. It becomes valid only when you lose your mental capacity. The Scottish equivalent of an English (LPA) for health and welfare is a welfare PoA.
You can make both types of LPA but, unlike Scotland, England does not allow combining them into one single document. You must make two separate LPAs, make two registrations and pay two separate fees.
Translating English powers of attorney into Spanish
If you have an English power of attorney in place allowing an attorney to act in Spain on behalf of the donor, getting the LPA recognised in Spain will involve (1) getting the English LPA legalised, and (2) getting the legalised LPA translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.
One of the most common scenarios where Spanish sworn translation of English powers of attorney is required involves cross-border succession matters: typically executors or administrators granting a general English power of attorney allowing a Spanish abogado to take all steps necessary to administer the deceased’s assets in Spain. Another scenario would be a case of family reunification in Spain involving an adult with incapacity.
Trust a professional – Contact ICR Translations
If you need an experienced Spanish sworn translator with a sound knowledge of English powers of attorney, look no further. I am the only legal translator with succession qualifications in three jurisdictions (England and Wales, Spain, and Scotland), including a CILEx Level 6 Certificate in Law (Law of Wills and Succession).
Spanish sworn translation of English powers of attorney: next steps
The information included in this article is correct at the time of publication/last update. This article is for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. ICR Translations will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from loss of data or profits as a result of, or in connection with, the use of this website.
Irene Corchado Resmella, a Spanish translator based in Edinburgh. English-Spanish sworn translator appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chartered Linguist and member of the CIOL. As a legal translator, I focus on Private Client law, specialising in Wills and Succession across three jurisdictions (England & Wales, Spain, and Scotland). Affiliate member of STEP. ICR Translations is registered with the ICO and has professional indemnity insurance.