Buy a Property In Italy Without Being There, With the Power of Attorney

The power of attorney (POA) in Italian “Procura” is an institution regulated by Articles 1387 and following the Italian civil code, concerning voluntary representation and the power to act in the name and account of another person in the fulfillment of legal acts whose effects will arise directly on the represented person.

Understanding the Power of Attorney

The Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants an individual (the lawyer) the authority to act on behalf of another (the client). In the context of real estate transactions, having a PoA allows the lawyer to handle various aspects of the property purchase process including the signing in front of the notary for the closing on behalf of the buyer, making it particularly advantageous for foreign buyers who may not be physically present in Italy.

The Role of Govoni Law

Govoni Law specializes in assisting foreign clients throughout the property acquisition process. By entrusting the firm with a Power of Attorney, clients empower Govoni Law’s experienced attorneys to act on their behalf, ensuring a smooth and efficient transaction.

Key Advantages

  1. Efficiency and Convenience: With Power of Attorney, clients can conduct property transactions without the need for constant physical presence in Italy. Govoni Law’s attorneys handle paperwork, negotiations, and legal formalities, saving clients valuable time and resources.
  2. Expert Guidance: Our legal professionals bring in-depth knowledge of Italian real estate laws and regulations. This expertise ensures that clients make informed decisions, mitigating potential risks and complications.
  3. Tailored Approach: Each real estate transaction is unique, and our lawyers customize their services to meet the specific needs of individual clients. This tailored approach ensures that the legal process aligns seamlessly with the client’s objectives.

Process Overview

  1. Initial Consultation: Clients engage in an initial consultation with Govoni Law to discuss their real estate goals and legal requirements.
  2. Power of Attorney Execution: Clients grant Govoni Law Power of Attorney, enabling the firm to act on their behalf during the property acquisition process.
  3. Property Search and Due Diligence: Govoni Law conducts a thorough search and due diligence on the property.
  4. Negotiation and Documentation: The legal team negotiates on behalf of the client and oversees the preparation and signing of all necessary documents.
  5. Closing and Registration: Govoni Law ensures a smooth closing process with the public notary, facilitating the transfer of ownership and registering the property in the client’s name.

Some examples of the practical utility of a Power of Attorney

  • Real Estate Conveyancing (including all preparatory activities for the notary deed)
  • Italian inheritance claims, refusal, or related transfers of funds;
  • Requesting and Obtaining a Codice Fiscale;
  • Opening, managing, or closing a bank account;
  • Requesting and Obtaining a Loan or a Mortgage;
  • Property or Asset Management.

Some Legal Details: Types of POA

When someone confers the power to another person to perform acts in the name and on behalf of these, it is called a Power of Attorney and it can be special or general, depending on whether that is conferred for the performance of specific tasks or a series of activities not previously determined.

To be more clear, the general power of attorney, for an indeterminate number of acts, may confer authorization power only for the completion of acts of business as usual or ordinary administration.

On the other hand, the special power of attorney may confer authorization power also for the performance of special administration acts.

The acts performed by the representative will have the characteristic of being directly effective in the legal sphere of the represented (article 1388 of the civil code).

Why should I need one to buy my property in Sardinia or anywhere in Italy?

To give an example, a person may purchase a real estate asset (a luxury villa in Sardinia) through an attorney who represents him for the whole process and at the time of the notary deed, acts on his behalf. In this case, the purchased asset will be directly owned by the represented person, not by the representative who appeared at the time of the purchase.

Requirements of the Power of Attorney

Article 1392 of the civil code disregards the form that the power of attorney must have.

The latter must not have a predetermined form but must have as a minimum form that of the deed that the representative will complete in the name of the represented. In other words, the Power of Attorney has no effect if it is not conferred with the forms prescribed by law for the act that the representative must conclude.

If still using the real estate example, a POA is given to purchase a real estate asset, the written form will be required as a minimum, in this case, a POA given orally will have no effect.

At the same time, if the POA is signed abroad, it will be necessary for the legalization, notarized or apostilled, depending on the location of the representative while signing the Power of Attorney.

Limitations of the POA

The representative, however, in the exercise of the power conferred, must observe very specific limits. The representative can never exceed the limits set in the Delegation Act. If, for example, the power to purchase real estate has been conferred, the representative cannot contract with a contractor for restoration or any other unrelated action. The contract performed in the absence of the powers of representation will remain ineffective.
However, the proxy does not allow the representative to perform any act. It cannot be conferred for the fulfillment of so-called “very personal” acts, in which the interested party must necessarily take part. For example, it will not be possible to draft a will by Power of Attorney, as it is a very personal act.