Colombian Power of Attorney
If you have personal and business dealings in Colombia, you should establish a Power of Attorney, especially if you still spend a lot of time going back and forth between Colombia and other countries.
This official legal document allows you to choose a person (called an "agent") to act on your behalf when you're not in Colombia. It gives them the power to make legal decisions for you. The scope of the agent's power can be broad, or you can specify certain situations where he or she is permitted to take care of your affairs.
For example, your Colombian Power of Attorney could indicate that the agent can represent you only in regard to financial matters, or only in regard to your health should you become unable to make those medical decisions on your own. Keep in mind that in the case of the medical Power of Attorney, you still retain all rights to make your own medical decisions as long are you are able to do so. Your agent steps in only if you are physically and mentally unable to make those decisions yourself. A doctor makes the call as to whether or not you understand what is going on and are fit to make decisions. You can designate a specific doctor to make that decision or require that two doctors must agree that you are incapable and your agent should step in.
Obviously, it is important to choose an agent you trust completely, as he or she will be conducting official and legal business on your behalf.
There are many good reasons to have a power of attorney in Colombia:
1. The Colombian Power of Attorney is inexpensive and easy to set up.
2. If something happens that requires your attention while you are out of the country, your agent can address the issue so you don't have to rush back to Colombia, which may or may not be easy or even possible.
3. You get to choose someone you trust to make legal decisions on your behalf. Failure to have a Power of Attorney in Colombia could mean, in the event that something would happen to you (provided you have a durable Power of Attorney, one that gives continued authority for your agent to act on your behalf after you have been incapacitated) or if you get stuck out of the country and can't make it back, the government, hospital, or another entity could be making those choices for you.
4. It's flexible. You can assign as much power or as little power as you want to your agent. You can also designate more than one agent, and then choose whether they both must consent to something or if they can act individually on your behalf.
5. You can revoke the Colombian Power of Attorney at any time.
These are some possible situations for which you could use a Power of Attorney:
■ Buying Properties
■ Handling Financial Matters
■ Representing You in Your Colombian Investments
■ Advancing Marriages in Colombia
■ Representing You for Colombian Tax Purposes
■ Creating and Managing Companies in Your Name
■ Settling Legal Claims
■ Entering Your Safety Deposit Box
■ Buying Life Insurance
To ensure your Power of Attorney is recognized in other countries, you will want to get an apostille. The Colombian apostille certifies that the designated document is in fact legal and valid in Colombia and can therefore be recognized as a legal document in other nations that are members of the Hague Convention.
This works both ways: if you have a Power of Attorney in another country, you will need to have an apostille or legalization of that document to prove its validity in Colombia. We offer apostille services to help you with this process, and we can have it done for you very quickly. (Countries that are not Hague Convention countries have other processes to legalize documents for use in foreign countries. We can help with this, as well. Check out this list of Hague Apostille Countries to see if your country is on it.)
A well-written, specific Power of Attorney in Colombia is essential to protect your interests. Our experienced Colombian attorneys can help you draft the document that suits your needs. Call Colombia Legal & Accounting, your Medellín lawyer and accounting team, for more information or to create your Power of Attorney today.