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Notarial Power: A Comprehensive Guide

A notarial power is a public document granted before a notary by which a natural or legal person authorizes another to represent them, act on their behalf, and carry out certain legal acts. It is common for these powers to be granted for an indefinite period, although a time limit can be established. The person granting the power is called the grantor, and the person appointed by them is called the attorney-in-fact.

Types of Notarial Powers

Notarial powers can be classified into two main categories:

  1. General Powers: These allow the attorney-in-fact to carry out a wide range of legal acts on behalf of the grantor. A common example is general powers of administration, which permit the unlimited management of a person's assets and estate.

  2. Specific Powers: These authorize the performance of specific legal acts. For instance, a specific power might enable the attorney-in-fact to represent the grantor in a specific real estate transaction or in accepting an inheritance.

Revocation of Power and its Purpose

Revocation of power is the act by which a previously granted power is rendered void and annulled through a notarized public deed. Its purpose is to prevent the attorney-in-fact from continuing to act on behalf of the grantor, thereby rendering the granted power ineffective and losing its validity. For the revocation process it is necessary:

  • Documentation Required: To revoke a power before a notary, it is necessary to provide either the authorized copy of the power being revoked or at least the details allowing its identification, such as the date and the notary before whom it was granted.

  • Revocation Deed: Revocation is formalized through a public deed of revocation. If, for any reason, the revocation deed cannot be executed immediately, the grantor may communicate the revocation to the attorney-in-fact in a legally valid manner and request the return of the authorized copy of the power.

Additional Considerations on Revocation

  • Revocability of Any Type of Power: Generally, any type of notarial power can be revoked, although there are exceptional cases where irrevocability can be agreed upon for special and temporary powers.

  • Power of Revocation at Any Time: The law grants the grantor the power to revoke the notarial power at any time.

  • Associated Costs: The cost of the revocation deed will be determined by the notarial tariff, considering factors such as the number of pages, copies, and other services provided by the notary.

Communication of Revocation

The revocation of power is communicated to the attorney-in-fact by the notary, who will also request the return of the authorized copy of the power. If the power was granted for the representation of the grantor before specific individuals, it will be necessary to inform them of the revocation.

Where Can the Revocation Take Place?

The revocation of power can be carried out before any notary, without the need to visit the original notary. It is sufficient to present the copy or the relevant data of the power.

Guarantees of Compliance and Legal Responsibility

When a power is revoked, the notary will require the attorney-in-fact to return the authorized copy, thus preventing its use. Additionally, notarial regulations stipulate that only the grantor can obtain copies of the power, unless otherwise specified. In case of misuse of the revoked power, the attorney-in-fact may be liable for damages, and the legal act performed may be considered null under certain circumstances.

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