The Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal instrument that can be used to deal with all formalities for which Italian law requires a person to be physically present.

By means of a PoA (in Italian called procura), a foreign person having interests in Italy, if he/she is not available to travel to Italy or prefers not to deal with Italian matters in person, can entrust an Italian attorney or another trusted person in Italy to represent him/her before third parties.

Activities carried out by a representative on behalf of his/her principal, in accordance with the terms set out in the PoA, have the same legal effects as activities carried out by the principal in person, in terms of rights and obligations.

Italian law distinguishes between two types of PoA:

  • Special PoA (procura speciale) – gives the representative powers to act on behalf of the principal in a determined affair (e.g., the purchase of a property). One affair can involve several activities (e.g., sign a preliminary purchase contract). Its effects are limited to the completion of one affair, therefore it is not required to be registered in public records.
  • General PoA (procura generale) – gives the representative powers to act on behalf of the principal in reference to two or more affairs. Its effects can have either a fixed-term or an indefinite duration, therefore it is required to be registered in public records, subject to the related register tax (imposta di registro).

However, both special and general PoA can outline more or less limited powers, according to the specific needs the principal may have.

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Form required of a Power of Attorney

A PoA is required to have the same form as the instrument for which the PoA is needed.

For example, a real estate property purchase contract in Italy is required to be executed before a notary public. Therefore, in order for a representative to act on behalf of someone else upon such a purchase closing, he/she needs a PoA to be executed by the principal and notarized before an (Italian or foreign) authority recognized by Italian law as equivalent to an Italian notary (e.g., notary public, solicitor, attorney at law, officer at Italian consulate).

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What can you do with a Power of Attorney?

Assuming compliance with the PoA’s form requirements, listed below are some possible applications of this legal instrument:

  • Real estate conveyancing (including all preparatory activities for the closing) – as an alternative, a non Italian speaking person, in order to execute a property transaction contract in person in Italy, needs to have a legal translation of the contract. Specifically, an interpreter is required to take part in the closing before an Italian notary and the transaction deed is required to be prepared in two languages (Italian and the foreign language)
  • Italian inheritance-related activities (e.g., inheritance claims, inheritance refusal, inheritance related disputes, etc.)
  • Judicial disputes and mediation processes
  • Liaison with financial institutions (e.g., open or close a bank account, request and obtain a loan, transfer inheritance funds, retrieve information to be filled in a dichiarazione di successione, etc.);
  • Property management
  • Appointing a realtor to sell a property
  • Incorporating an Italian company

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Power of Attorney formalization and validation procedures

A Power of Attorney to be used in Italy can be executed and notarized both in Italy and in any foreign country hosting an Italian consular authority.

We provide legal assistance throughout Italian and international document formalization and validation procedures, without the need to travel and by using only email and paper mail services.

Our international department has acquired valuable experience in providing legal assistance throughout the whole formalization and validation process, in order to have a PoA tailored to a client’s specific needs that is compliant with Italian law.

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Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Legal review of an existing PoA draft in a non-Italian language
  • Drafting of a new PoA in a non-Italian language, according to our Client’s specific needs
  • Double checking the PoA’s content with the Italian authority under which the PoA has to be used
  • Providing one of our professionals to be entrusted to act, throughout Italy, as our Client’s representative before the Italian authority in charge of the case (e.g., notary, public offices, etc.), or before the private or public involved party (e.g., bank, utility provider, etc.)
  • Selecting the type of procedure (consular or non-consular) most appropriate to the Client’s specific case
  • Legal support for the execution of the PoA under the authority involved overseas (e.g., notary public, solicitor, attorney at law, consulate, etc.)
  • Advising on legalization or apostille procedures, depending on the state involved
  • Italian legal translation in Court of the executed PoA along with the legalization certificate or apostille
  • In person representation of our Clients before the Italian third party (e.g., notary, bank, etc.), according to the PoA’s content and our Clients’ requests

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How long does a formalization and validation process take?

Based on our experience, depending on the applicant’s home country, timing may reasonably vary from 10 to 30 working days, including shipping time.

 

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