What you should know about Powers of Attorney in Mexico

Are you a Canadian and you are selling or buying property? Or Do you need legal representation in Mexico? You should read this post.

Frequent Questions and Answers

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the right to make decisions on your behalf.

What does the term “attorney” mean?

The term “attorney” refers to the person or persons you have chosen to act on your behalf.  The person does not have to be a lawyer

Is a Power of Attorney the same thing as a “Last Will and Testament”?

No.  Your Last Will and Testament covers the distribution of your property after you die and only takes effect upon your death.  A Power of Attorney only applies while you are alive and ceases to be effective upon your death.

Do I have to register my Power of Attorney with the Mexican government?

No.  There is no requirement that a Power of Attorney be registered with the Mexican government; however, as general rule, a Notary Public keep a copy for his records. 

Can a power of attorney granted in Canada be used in Mexico?

Yes, in accordance with Mexican law, a power of attorney granted in a foreign country, is governed by the laws if the place where it was granted; therefore, a power of attorney granted in Canada in accordance with the laws of that country shall be valid in Mexico.

Can you buy or sell a property in Mexico with a power of attorney from Canada?

Yes, in accordance with Mexican law, you can buy or sell a property in Mexico without leaving Canada; you could give authorization to a trusted person to act on your behalf to complete the closing with a special power of attorney for ownership purposes.

Are there different types of powers of attorney in Mexico?

Yes, as general rule, there are three types of powers of attorney: a) for litigation and collection proceedings, b) administration c) dominium or ownership purposes.

Any of the before mentioned powers of attorney could be granted for generic or specific reasons; a generic power of attorney might be used in different proceedings and, a specific or ad hoc power of attorney shall be for a specific act or transaction.  

How can you grant a power of attorney in Canada to be valid in Mexico?

The power of attorney must be granted in accordance with Canadian and Mexican law. In Ontario the power of attorney must be granted before a Notary Public in good-standing and it must be drafted in Spanish or translated to Spanish by an official translator; then the document must be authenticated bythe province of Ontario and then   legalized by the closest Mexican Consulate. 

What kind of power of attorney you should use to selling a property in in Mexico? 

Selling property abroad is a complex process; therefore, you should use a tailor-made power of attorney for dominium or ownership purpose with two key clauses: 1. The attorney must follow your instructions in writing and 2) the attorney shall be accountable and liable for any breach of trust.