Written and Revised by Sara Chaca, Attorney – Abogada
January 13th, 2020
While enjoying and frolicking about per your new life here in Ecuador, the question of whether an Ecuadorian Power of Attorney is needed or desirable often arises for an Expat. As such, this article shall explain the general as well as more special uses of a Power of Attorney in Ecuador, including how to get one set up properly, and whether you should do so at that, however the case may be as per your own individual and unique circumstances, respectively.
In the event that you reasonably foresee or imagine a time or situation if/when you might need a third party, such as a family member, friend or trusted advisor (i.e. an Attorney) handle a business, legal, realty or even medical matter (that last one being to a more limited though still useful extent) for you or on your behalf, an Ecuador Power of Attorney is advisable because it allows that other person to act for you and your benefit, plus even at times allow that same benefit to extend to or for your family members (or at the very least save them a lot of grief and at the very best cause them a big sigh of relief).
To what might Powers of Attorney in Ecuador serve you and/or your family for, specifically? As a well suited and much time tested example, the purchase or sale of Real Estate in Ecuador can be handled by your appointed Power of Attorney (how in detail is covered within the following article I published on “CuencaHighLife” per the buying and selling of property in Ecuador via an Ecuadorian Real Estate Closing: https://cuencahighlife.com/buying-property-in-ecuador-heres-what-you-need-to-know/ AND at that so as to even potentially serve as your qualification for any Ecuadorian Investor Visa how is shown within the following additional article I published on “CuencaHighLife” per that matter as well: https://cuencahighlife.com/ecuadors-new-investor-visa-now-travel-as-often-as-you-like/), so as to oversee ALL matters related to the successful acquisition or disposition of any property in Ecuador, as well as (or even instead for things such as opening, closing, moving and/or transferring Ecuadorian Bank Accounts and Ecuadorian Bank Certificates of Deposit) so as to receive or send bank checks, electronic transfers or wires on your behalf as the grantor (“Principal”) to and/or from Ecuador, per your appointed representative (“Attorney in Fact”) in and of any such applicable Power of Attorney. Moreover, your Attorney in Fact can in representing you as the Principal thereof per any Ecuadorian Power of Attorney document, dutifully (as opposed to illegally or unlawfully) transact any and all types of business matters for you, including even to represent you in any business, company or lawsuit you have or wish to commence in Ecuador, noting that in the event of your passing any Ecuador Power of Attorneys you granted during your lifetime will automatically/legally cease to exist or operate as documents/entities, with the limited exception being that your Attorney in Fact can continue to represent your own personal interests (on behalf of your estate for the ultimate attributable benefit of your rightful heirs) in any lawsuit that is/was started prior to your passing.
It’s important to understand that an Ecuador Power of Attorney document is typically written by your Ecuadorian Attorney, which then must be signed by you as the Principal in front of an Ecuadorian Notary here in Ecuador or in front of a licensed Notary in your home country and/or at an Ecuadorian Consulate, depending on your specific country of Citizenship/Residency or which country you’re traveling through/visiting so as to determine the exactly required protocol for executing and certifying it (i.e. via Apostille or Legalization procedures) as well as what language it must be in or if/when it thereafter needs to be translated to Spanish or additionally/newly notarized in Ecuador (many different permutations and variations exist per that and thus those are necessarily beyond the scope of this article’s cursory and general review). Furthermore, there is no such thing as a Durable Power of Attorney in Ecuador where if later after having granted it while still competent and of sound mind you thereafter become incapacitated and your Attorney in Fact automatically takes over the management of all of your personal affairs, apart from an Ecuadorian General Power of Attorney or a Limited Power of Attorney in Ecuador, and without question you are always free to revoke any Power of Attorney document in Ecuador which you as the Principal had granted to your Attorney in Fact during your lifetime, so there’s no such thing as an irrevocable (non-revocable) Ecuadorian Power of Attorney document, and actually Powers of Attorney in Ecuador generally need to be renewed once every 6-12 months or at other intervals/times (though of course that doesn’t matter if the Power of Attorney is granted for a specific action, purpose or reason that will cease to continue beyond a planned period of time related thereto certain actions hypothecated by the Principal for their Attorney in Fact to handle on their behalf). Notably, always remember that regardless of what anyone in Ecuador might ever falsely state about Ecuadorian Powers of Attorney, at no time, in no way and in no circumstance, justification or reason whatsoever can or will any Ecuadorian Power of Attorneys be able to serve as an Affidavit electing Burial or Cremation at death, nor as a Living Will instructing doctors/hospitals to pull the plug or withhold artificial life support, and certainly not as a Will for assets advising the names of your beneficiaries or amounts/types of assets to bequeath to them following the end of one’s days, as those matters are all entirely and necessarily separate type documents that I wrote about in two other articles published on “CuencaHighLife”, each detailed and explained within these two clickable links here: https://cuencahighlife.com/the-best-end-of-life-plan-in-ecuador/ AND https://cuencahighlife.com/wills-in-ecuador-do-you-need-one/.
Finally, it’s absolutely imperative that Ecuador Powers of Attorney be well written, containing fully correct names, dates, addresses, as well as specificity and context (if and how applicable to the matter[s] at hand), and not just created as a blanket statement that the Principal appoints another person at their Attorney in Fact, since Ecuadorian Municipalities, Notaries, Tax Collecting offices, etc., are all too happy to reject fully executed Power of Attorney documents in Ecuador, claiming improper, non-specific and/or unclear terms therein or thereof (depending on the scenario the same can even happen at or with Ecuadorian Consulates/Embassies and Ministries of Foreign Affairs/Secretaries of State located outside of Ecuador).
Naturally in the end, whether a Power of Attorney is right for you and your situation, is something that can only be determined by speaking with an Ecuadorian Attorney about the reasons that it can/will be utilized for, and what other type document(s) or option(s) you might have that could enable or preclude one to be created, etched and set forth for you under the careful guidance of your Ecuadorian Attorney in fully honoring and respecting your own personal needs and desires here in Ecuador.
Sara Chaca (Attorney – Abogada) is a seasoned Ecuadorian Lawyer, who principally serves Expats in making their moves to Ecuador, as well as for any legal issues that arise or become actionable for her Expat clients to undertake in their new lives here in her beautiful country. Sara resides in Cuenca with her family, which consists of her American husband and 2 daughters (as well as her parents and siblings), and when not working, she enjoys spending time with her family in Cuenca’s majestic Cajas Mountains and local parks & fairs of Cuenca, plus visiting the coast as well as the many gem towns of Ecuador. Sara’s personal email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and her law office’s fully informative website is www.ecuadorvisas.com for you to visit at any time of day or night – plus, her personal Ecuadorian cell phone number is 099-296-2065 and her Toll Free “800” phone number for US & Canadian callers is 1-(800)-655-1581. Sara has a less than 24 hour first response policy, in that if you email or call her, she WILL return your first email or first phone call in less than 24 hours (more typically in closer to 24 minutes). Most importantly, all first time consultations with Expats for any type Visa or Legal matter(s) are always FREE OF CHARGE.