Can I sign a Spanish power of attorney in Spain, on line or remotely, during the lockdown? Or other notarial documents such as an urgent Will?
On the 14th April the Spanish General Notarial Counsel (Consejo General del Notariado) approved and proposed that certain documents of an urgent nature can be signed remotely or on-line with the necessary guarantees in place. See link to the decision of the Consejo General del Notariado.
Some of the documents that are contemplated in the proposal, which still needs to get approved by the relevant Justice department, are urgent Wills or Powers of Attorney. This proposal, if accepted, could give a solution to some of the problems that we are seeing in Spanish transactions whereby the transaction cannot complete because one of the parties was not able to travel to the Notary´s office. In certain cases, this obstacle could be overcome by the said party (who cannot travel or does not have any local Notary nearby) granting a Notarial Power of Attorney to someone, usually a relative or a lawyer, who lives near the Notary.
If the above proposal gets approved, Notaries will be able to witness the signing of certain documents through the screen of their computers and issue the necessary notarial document without having to see the client. This can also prove of great advantage when it comes to granting a Spanish will in Spain, specially for our senior citizens who are unfortunately more exposed to the unpredictable COVID-19 virus and would want to have a Spanish Will in place.
We are interested to know if this proposal will be accepted by the relevant departments of Justice in Spain. The Notarial profession and activity has always been based on physical presence and the Notary seeing the grantor of the document in the flesh. It is therefore a huge step forward for the Notarial profession. One that might be needed if the confinement measures and restrictions carry on for several months.