While the subject of powers of attorney (POAs) is very broad, this short article will touch on what we consider are the most important issues of the subject.
There are several types of POAs depending on what authorities are granted when a POA is issued. Commonly, people grant Limited POAs to one or more family members, employees, accountants, customs agents, and other professionals for specific actions needed. What is important to know is that the grantor holds the power to define/limit the authorities being granted and that the grantor should not issue authorities that he/she does not feel comfortable granting.
POAs are usually issued without expiration time, so if the grantor wants the POA to lose legal force at a given time, he/she must state so in the POA at the moment of it being issued. Notwithstanding, any POA issued can be revoked at any time by its grantor by issuing a revocation deed before a Notary Public and having such revocation notified to the person holding the POA, and the Notary if it was granted before a different Notary. This notification of the revocation is key to determine the exact moment the POA is no longer valid to protect the grantor’s interests. POAs also lose all legal force the moment the grantor or the grantee is deceased.
POAs can be granted in the country before a Notary Public, or abroad. If abroad, they can be granted before any Notary Public, or at a Nicaraguan Consulate. If issued before a foreign Notary Public make sure it is legalized (authenticated or Apostilled) before it is sent here so it is effective in Nicaragua. If the document was drafted in a different language than Spanish, once the document gets to Nicaragua it has to be officially translated into Spanish, and if it has been authenticated rather than Apostilled (this depends on the country of origin), there is one more authentication left to do in Nicaragua.
Attorneys get General Judicial POA (Poder General Judicial) which is a power of attorney good for any legal representation. If acting as a plaintiff on a criminal action, attorneys will need a special judicial POA specifying the facts of the criminal case. They also get a Limited Special POA (Poder Especialísimo) when filing for a divorce.
There is also the General POA (Poder Generalísimo) which is the broadest POA that can be issued. This POA is good for almost any type of transaction and act. A General POA can buy, sell, mortgage, any type of property, receive payments, negotiate and settle disputes, issue other POAs, file or defend lawsuits, sign any type of contracts and any other action the grantor could legally do. There are a few exceptions of authorities that are not granted with a General POA (get married, acknowledge paternity of a child, and vote). Therefore, anyone granting a General POA must have complete trust in the person being appointed as General POA, or accept the consequences of whatever use the grantee does with the POA.