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PRODUCT INFORMATION SHEET
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POWERS OF ATTORNEY ISSUED IN FRANCE FOR USE ABROAD


Notarized powers of attorney and private powers of attorney with certification of signature

 

 

REMINDER OF THE PRINCIPLES 


As each State has its own legislation, it is necessary to make allowance for the law of the country of destination of the power of attorney. Accordingly, whether established privately or officially, a power of attorney must be drafted according to the law of the State where it is to be used, and in principle by a law professional from that State 
 
Depending on the law as it stands in each State, the power of attorney may have to be established by an official instrument,otherwise a private instrument may suffice.
 
So the client must get information from their legal representative, notary or the lawyer drafting the power of attorney to find out whether or not it is mandatory for it to be in the form of an official instrument. 

INFORMATIONS AND DOCUMENTS TO SEND TO : bruno.bedaride@paris.notaires.fr
 

  • the model notarized or non-notarized power drafted by the notary or foreign attorney in Word format in order that the attorney-in-fact may sign the legal instrument that is the subject matter of the power. This is to ensure that it contains all necessary information, including the identity, place of residence of the principal and a statement as to whether or not there is a pre-nuptial agreement in France[1];


  • a photocopy of a piece of identity of the principal (passport or identity card);


  •  a photocopy of proof of the principal’s domicile bearing a date of less than three months (tax notice, electricity/gas bill or sworn proof of accommodation);


  • with respect to couples married in France, a copy of the family record book and the French pre-nuptial agreement for those couples who have entered into one. In the absence of a pre-nuptial agreement, specify whether the couple has settled in France immediately after the marriage and whether changes of residence outside France have occurred after the marriage and for which period (dates to be specified), in order to verify the possible automatic change of the property system;


  • with respect to couples who have registered a civil partnership in France, a copy of the civil partnership declaration and agreement ;


  • in the event that the planned operation consists in acquiring property abroad using personal funds of spouses married under the French community property system or partners subject to joint tenancy in connection with a French civil partnership: in such case, indicate the amount of the personal funds used to pay the price and costs of the acquisition, the total amount of the price and costs of the acquisition and the personal origin of the funds (bank statement justifying the personal nature of the funds held on the account to be used to finance the operation and a copy of the notarized deed of sale of personal property or, as the case may be, the deed of gift or estate distribution). The use or re-use of personal funds by one spouse confers on such spouse exclusive ownership of the real estate to be acquired unless the amount of the individual contribution of such spouse is less than that made using community property funds; in such case the real property shall belong to both spouses, subject to compensation for the benefit of the spouse having financed the acquisition price and costs with his or her own funds. This is why the power of attorney must provide for the insertion of a representation in the purchase instrument regarding the origin of the funds and the re-use thereof; absent such representation the property to be acquired shall be community property, save for compensation, even in the case where the acquisition price and costs have been financed exclusively by means of the individual funds of one of the spouses.


  • contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone) of the notary or attorney having drafted the model of the notarized or non-notarized power of attorney.



[1]  It shall be up to the drafter of the instrument to verify the marital status of the spouses with respect to couples married abroad, with or without a pre-nuptial agreement.

THE FORM OF THE POWER OF ATTORNEY   
 
 
 A distinction must be made depending on whether or not the power of attorney needs to be in an official form.
 

IF THE INSTRUMENT MUST BE RECEIVED IN THE OFFICIAL FORM

Translation, if need be, of the power of attorney template issued in the language of the country where it will be used      
 
 The client must send our notary's office the power of attorney drafted abroad, which will be analysed by the notary or a member of staff, if fluent in the foreign language concerned, or based on a French translation, in principle translated by a sworn translator.
  

Receipt of the power of attorney in official form  
 
 First, our office will have to finalize the wording of the power to attorney to adapt it to the formal and legibility rules specific to French notarial instruments. Only the substantive rules of the foreign State have to be scrupulously observed.               
  
 The power of attorney will then be signed before the French notary.   
   

Completion of the legalization or apostille certificate, where applicable
 
 After the signing of the notarial power of attorney, it will be recorded on the original document for a set fee of €25. If necessary, the instrument will also be legalized or completed by an apostille certificate to make it enforceable on local authorities.
  
 A table is attached in annex 1 listing, for notarial instruments, the countries where legalization is mandatory (L), or the apostille certificate is mandatory (A), and where neither is necessary(D).      
  

Translation of the French notarial instrument into the local language by a sworn translator
 
A sworn translator must then translate the French notarial power of attorney into the language of the State where it will be used.
 

IF THE INSTRUMENT CAN BE ESTABLISHED PRIVATELY     
 
Translation, if need be, of the power of attorney issued in the language of the State where it will be used.
 
The client must send our notary's office the power of attorney drafted abroad, which will be analysed by the notary or a member of staff, if fluent in the foreign language concerned, or based on a translation into French or English.       
  

Material certification of signature       
  
 At the notary's office, the client will place their signature on the foreign language power of attorney established, then the notary will place the material certification of the client's signature, in French and in the language used in the power of attorney, together with the notary's signature and seal, on the instrument.
  

Completion of the legalization or apostille certificate, where applicable
  
 The certification formality may by supplemented by legalization or apostille certification formalities to make the power of attorney enforceable on local authorities.
  
 It should be noted that the legalization or apostille certification of privately established instruments to be used abroad is not allowed under French law. However, the record of material certification of signature placed on the private power of attorney is deemed a notarial instrument[1], so it may be the subject of legalization or apostille certification if need be.
 
A table is attached in annex 2 listing, for certifications of signature recorded on private instruments, the countries where legalization is mandatory (L), where apostille certification is mandatory (A), and neither is necessary (D).
 

[1]For legalization, see: article 3 of decree no. 2007-1205 dated 10 August 2007. For apostille certification see: article 1 of the Hague Convention dated 5 October 1961.


LEGALIZATION AND APOSTILLE CERTIFICATION FORMALITIES[1]
 
A legal instrument cannot be effective in another State without completing the legalization formality or, where applicable, its simplified version, barring exemption.
  


LEGALIZATION 
 
The legalization takes the form a seal placed:
 
► either by the ambassador or head consular official under the conditions of article 4, I, 1° of the decree dated 10 August 2007
 
► or by the legalization department of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, acting on delegation of authority of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, having its Paris office at:
 

 57 boulevard des Invalides, 75007 Paris

Open to the public Monday through Friday (except on public holidays), from 8.30 to 1.15 pm

01 53 69 38 28

 
The current rate for legalization is 10 euros per document[2], subject to application of reciprocity rates for certain foreign nationals. A response time of 48 hours is necessary in principle.
 
  

APOSTILLE CERTIFICATE
 
The apostille certificate is issued by the competent authority of the State where the instrument is established. In France, that authority is held by to the principal state prosecutor to the court of appeal, if the said court has territorial jurisdiction. The apostille certification office in Paris is at:
 

  8-10 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, Harlay hall, 1st floor, 

(Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 12 noon, then from 1.15 to 3 pm, except Friday afternoon)

01 44 32 73 54


 
The apostille certificate takes the form of a stamp that must comply with the model appended to the Hague Convention[3].
 
It is delivered free of charge at the request of the bearer of the instrument or its signatory[4]. A response time of 48 hours is necessary in principle.
 


[1]See Appendix 1 and 2.
[2]2nd part of the decree no. 81-778 dated 13 August 1981.
[3]Article 4 of the Hague Convention dated 5 October 1961.
[4]Paragraph II.2.2) c. of the circular 2005-19D3 dated 12 December 2005.
 
   

NOTARY'S FEES 
 
NB: NO VAT FOR RESIDENTS OUTSIDE THE EU
   

1/ Power of attorney received in the notarized form

 

without the legalization or apostille formality: between €850, all taxes included and €2,200, all taxes included, a fixed recording duty (€25) and emoluments (€32.30, all taxes included), including translation costs. This shall depend on the work involved (translation of the model power and adaptation to the standards for notarized instruments);

 

If the notary must travel to the domicile (within Paris only): an additional €550, all taxes included;

 

with the dual legalization formality carried out by the notary (maximum turnaround time: 48 hours): an additional €550, all taxes included, including legalization costs;

 

the apostille formality carried out by the notary (maximum turnaround time: 48 hours): an additional €250, all taxes included.

 

2/ Material certification of signature (translation costs excluded)

 

without the legalization or apostille formality: €250, all taxes included.

  

In case there are several principals within the framework of the same model power of attorney, the following additional amounts are to be paid:

- 48, all taxes included, per additional single principal;

- 96, all taxes included, per additional divorced, widowed or married principal or principal who has entered into a civil partnership.

 
In case of insertion of an origin of funds clause amounting to a re-use clause in accordance with French law: an additional 150, all taxes included.

 

In case the notary must travel to the domicile (within Paris only): an additional €550, all taxes included.

 

with the dual legalization formality carried out by the notary (maximum turnaround time: 48 hours): an additional €550, all taxes included, including legalization costs;

 

the apostille formality carried out by the notary (maximum turnaround time: 48 hours): an additional €250, all taxes included.


 


The fees must be paid by check drawn on the principal’s French bank account (payment in cash is also possible), except if you are requested to first pay a retainer by bank transfer if the amount of the fees is greater than €500, all taxes included.


 
(1) Pursuant to the provisions of articles L 444-1 subsection 3 and R 444-3 of the French Code of commercial law (Code de Commerce), notaries are empowered to collect fees for analysing and checking documents that are subject to certification of signature and applications to be made in the country where these documents will be used.
 
(2) This amount collected by the French State may vary if the signatory is a national of certain States; please refer to the notary's office for more information.
 
 
For more information, see our study on the practical use of legalization and apostille certificates
 

We must warn our guests that the office does not intervene concerning affidavit, as French notaries are not qualified in this area which is governed by common law.

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The interdisciplinary expertise of the Selarl Bruno Bedaride, notaire in Paris covers the following areas: corporate law, international contracts law, legal and tax advice, advice for international transmission, real estate law, family office, real estate and company finance law. We offer more particularly our services to non residents or foreign company who wish to invest, move or create a business in France.