Last updated on 17/03/22

When submitting Scottish documents in Spain as part of an official procedure, they must be legalised first – so they can take effect abroad – and then translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.

Scottish 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 granter) appoint someone else (the attorney) to make decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself.

Types of Scottish powers of attorney

General (also called ‘ordinary’) powers of attorney

A general or ordinary power of attorney allows you to give legal authority to an attorney for a defined period to make financial decisions on your behalf. They are normally used when you need someone to deal with a specific issue or for a limited period. For example, you can make a general power of attorney for someone to manage some affairs while you are on holiday. General or ordinary powers of attorney are not ongoing powers, meaning that they are only valid while you have mental capacity (they become invalid if you lose your mental capacity).

Continuing powers of attorney

A continuing power of attorney is one of the two types of ongoing powers you can grant in Scotland. It allows an attorney to deal with your property and financial affairs even after you lose your mental capacity. It is the Scottish equivalent of an English lasting power of attorney (LPA) for property and financial affairs.

Welfare powers of attorney

A welfare power of attorney is the other type of ongoing powers you can grant in Scotland. It allows an attorney to make decisions related to your health and welfare after you lose your mental capacity. It is the Scottish equivalent of an English lasting power of attorney (LPA) for health and welfare.

Unlike in England, in Scotland the two types of ongoing powers can be combined into one single document, normally referred to as a ‘combined PoA’. This does not mean that both financial and welfare powers start at the same time. Welfare powers will start only when you lose capacity, but financial powers will start immediately after its registration with the Office of the Public Guardian, although deferring the registration is possible.

Translating Scottish powers of attorney into Spanish

If you have a Scottish PoA in place allowing an attorney to act in Spain on behalf of the granter, the process of getting it recognised in Spain will involve (1) getting the Scottish power of attorney legalised, and (2) getting the legalised power of attorney translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.

A common scenario where the Spanish sworn translation of Scottish powers of attorney is required involves cross-border succession matters: executors granting a general Scottish 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 Scottish 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 STEP Advanced Certificate in Wills and Executries: Law and Practice (Scotland).

Spanish sworn translation of Scottish powers of attorney: next steps

  1. Read about the Spanish sworn translation process
  2. Contact me by email to request a quotation
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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.

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