If you decide to buy real estate in Italy, you might consider signing a Power of Attorney (Procura) in order to facilitate the process of purchasing a house.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney (PoA) is document which allows an individual (the “principal”) to grant another person (a trusted person or an attorney) the power to act on his or her behalf and represent him or her legally.
There are different types of PoA depending on the extent of the power you would like to give to a third party:
- General Power of Attorney: it gives broad powers to the person you chose to act on your behalf, enabling he or she to handle every aspect of the purchasing process. This represents the best solution if you have inherited a property in Italy or wish to purchase property and you live very far away from the country.
- Special Power of Attorney: it allows you to limit the PoA to a specific need. This is the case in which you only need someone to sign a specific document such as the Final Deed, or if you need to attend a meeting and cannot be present.
Usually, both the general and the special Power of Attorneys expire upon the death of the principal or in case the principal suffers from a severe medical condition. However, the principal can also decide to assign an expiry date to the PoA or to revoke it.
Why do you need one?
If you are reading this article, you might be interested in investing in Real Estate in Italy, or you might have just inherited a property in Italy and you would like legal advice throughout the entire process.
In both these cases, the attorney who has been granted a PoA can take care of handling all the steps in which your presence and/or signature are necessary. The attorney can negotiate the price of the real estate property, negotiate with the parties involved to defend your interests, and sign the Final Deed of Sale. This will help you from incurring in any risks related to your investment, and it will also save you from travelling to Italy several times.
A PoA is also advisable even when you can travel to Italy multiple times. In fact, non-Italian speakers are advised to sign a PoA in situations which require the principal to sign deeds before an Italian Notary Public. In other words, the Italian law requires the deeds to be translated from Italian into the language of the non-Italian speaking party; in addition to this, the presence of an interpreter is required during the meetings. This results in the process being lengthier and more expensive. On the other hand, by signing a PoA and choosing a bilingual real estate lawyer to represent you, you will definitely speed up the purchasing process while also saving money. Finally, a PoA is ideal for last-minute documents that need to be issued and/or signed.
How do you get a Power of Attorney?
The PoA can be signed wherever you are located. Prior to 2011, Italian Consulate and Embassies provided the service of notarial authentication and Power of Attorney for non-Italian citizens, however this is no longer the case. Nevertheless, there are a variety of alternatives for signing a Power of Attorney. A Real Estate attorney can assist you with this.
Generally, it is sufficient that the principal signs the PoA before a notary public in the country where he or she is located. People who sign a PoA in countries such as the UK and the USA, which are part of The Hague Convention together with Italy, only need to legalize the PoA with an Apostille in order for the document to be used in Italy.
Ultimately, obtaining a PoA can be easy, and it allows you to simplify and accelerate the entire purchasing process – you only need to choose a trusted person to represent you legally.
If you need the help of a professional to guide you through your investment contact Italian Real Estate Lawyers. Our team of experts will provide the best advice!