Do you need to grant Powers-of-Attorney to a legal representative?

Assigning a legal representative or proxy is a common situation and can be used for a myriad of purposes. However, it is important to do so adequately. Here we tell you the three more important aspects to consider when assigning a legal representative.

For someone to lawfully represent another person or company, it is necessary to have a figure for representation.

The reasons why a natural person is assigned as legal representative of another natural person or a company are several and varied. Some of these require only a Power-of-Attorney, whereas others could require a notarized Power-of-Attorney. Certain circumstances could require a general Power-of-Attorney, and others a special Power-of-Attorney.

The need for representation could be due to the will of the parties (granting of a Power-of-Attorney); by legal provision (e.g., the parental Power-of-Attorney or representation of parents with their underage children); or by court order (e.g., when a judge names a person to be the representative of another that is declared unable—such as a prosecution trial for some who, due to illness, is not of sound mind). At this moment we refer to representation by will of the parties.

That being said, it is key to consider the following items:

1. Determine the type of legal representation required.

Clearly establishing the purpose pursued when assigning a legal representative is the first step to achieve an adequate and, overall, safe representation. In this sense, we recommend you answer the following questions:

Why is it necessary for someone to represent me? What result should my representative have? How long do I need to be represented? Before whom will they be representing me? Do I want my legal representative to make the decisions that are inherent to my position or do I want my representative to consult them with me, first? Do I want to be represented without my identity being known (so that the conditions of the negotiation are not influenced)?

2. Select the person who will be the legal representative.

Selecting a representative is no small affair. In addition to the moral quality of the person that will represent you, you should also think about their capacity to conduct the representation tasks, that is, the person representing you must have the capacity to analyze and understand the consequences of their acts both for you and for themselves.

3. Determine the type and scope of the Power-of-Attorney being granted to the representative.

Power-of-Attorney

The Power-of-Attorney is a private document where the represented person, with two witnesses present, describes the specific act for which they authorize a third party or proxy. Normally, this document includes information such as: the name of the person who receives the Power-of-Attorney, the description of the powers granted, the obligations and responsibilities of the representative, and the expiration date of the document. These types of documents work well for minor formalities.

Notarized Power-of-Attorney in Mexico

This is done before a Public Notary and is used to carry out more transcendent actions that require the certification granted by a Public Notary. A notarized Power-of-Attorney can be revoked at any moment by the person that granted it.

Notarized Power-of-Attorney, Abroad

Issuing a Power-of-Attorney with legal effects in Mexico is possible through the Mexican consulates, as the Consuls are authorized as an official authority to attest to the Power-of-Attorney. The difference between this and the notarized Power-of-Attorney in Mexico is that in the case of the latter, the Public Notary is responsible for the legality of the document’s content, whereas the consul only certifies the identity of the person that signs the document. The Power-of-Attorney issued by the Consulate does not require subsequent legalization or protocolization to have legal effects in Mexico. In the case of public instruments attested before a non-Mexican Public Notary or consul, they shall be legalized or apostilled and protocolized (registered) before a Public Notary in Mexico in order for them to be valid in Mexico.

General Powers-of-Attorney

A general Power-of-Attorney applies for the representative to carry out different matters in representation of the person being represented, provided that it has not been revoked or one of the parties has died. However, the Power-of-Attorney can be limited in its scope regarding the faculties conferred, as indicated below.

1. General Power-of-Attorney for lawsuits and collections. It grants the representative the Power-of-Attorney to appear in court in representation of their client before all types of legal authorities: civil, judicial, prosecuting, administrative, work related, military, among others. This Power-of-Attorney is recommended for assisting to trials and carrying out collections.

2. General Power-of-Attorney for Administration Actions. It grants the representative the Power-of-Attorney to carry out judicial acts such as entering into contracts and other administrative actions for the compliance of the mandate. This Power-of-Attorney is used for a person to carry out the daily activities of a business or company.

3. General Power-of-Attorney for Acts of Ownership. It grants the representative the Power-of-Attorney to act in representation of the client in the capacity of owner, both regarding property and to carry out any kind of matters concerning said property, in order to defend them. Typically, this Power-of-Attorney is only granted when the represented person does not have a way of acting on their own; and we suggest that it remains limited in its purpose.

Special Power-of-Attorney

It is granted to be represented in one or more specific matters, and it is automatically void when the matters in question are resolved.

Conclusions

Given the significance of the designation of a legal representative, we consider important for the interested party to be adequately counseled by an upstanding, competent, knowledgeable and experienced lawyer, as the actions celebrated by the legal representative could have significant consequences on both the patrimony and the represented person.

If you need a legal representative, Arrangoiz y Asociados provides you with the necessary counsel to protect your interests and patrimony.

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