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Legal Ease – Power of Attorney in Costa Rica

Legal Ease – Power of Attorney in Costa Rica

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In Costa Rica, there are four types of power of attorney (POA) that one person or corporation can grant to another person.

Poder especial (Special or Limited POA)

As per article 1256 of the Civil Code of Costa Rica, a special or limited POA empowers a person to conduct a specific diligence on behalf of the person granting the power. For example, the legal representative of a company that recently bought a condo may grant special POA to staff members at her lawyer´s office for them to update the name of the water meter associated with her condo. A special POA does not require registration at the Registro Nacional, but the signature must be duly legalized. However, if the special power is to be used to transfer title to property, real estate or vehicles, then the law requires that the special POA be executed before a Costa Rican notary public or a Costa Rican consular officer and logged in their Protocol book.

Poder general (General POA)

As per article 1255 of the Civil Code of Costa Rica, a general POA empowers a person to administer all or some assets belonging to the person granting the power. The empowered person may conduct negotiations necessary, rent out properties for up to a year or the specified time frame, sell assets other than properties, charge for services and provide the appropriate receipts, as well as execute any legal deeds necessary to preserve the business. A general POA must be executed before a Costa Rican notary public or a Costa Rican consular officer and logged in their Protocol book. Additionally, the general POA must be registered at the Registro Nacional.

Poder generalísimo (Full POA)

As per article 1253 of the Civil Code of Costa Rica, a full POA empowers a person to effectively dispose of all the assets belonging to the person granting the power. The empowered person may sell and mortgage properties as well as execute any legal deeds on behalf of the person, with a few exceptions. This type of POA can be limited to a specific amount of money or a specific type of asset, such as cars but not properties. A full POA must be executed before a Costa Rican notary public or a Costa Rican consular officer and logged in their Protocol book. Additionally, the full POA must be registered at the Registro Nacional.

Poder judicial (Judicial POA)

As per articles 1288 and 1289 of the Civil Code of Costa Rica, a judicial POA empowers an attorney to file or answer a lawsuit complaint, attend hearings, file appeals and conduct other legal actions within the judicial trial on behalf of the person granting the power. A judicial POA can only be granted to a lawyer. This type of power can be special or general.

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