The morning of Thursday 19th October 2006 dawned bright and early for us. Together with our youngest son we headed south with smile on our faces and expectations in our hearts. We arrived at the office and were greeted by our agent. There was a complication!
The owner had inherited the property from her father, in his Will she was called by her married name and all paperwork had been prepared in that name. There had been an authorised copy of a passport in her married name made and filed but the passport had since expired. A copy of the new passport had been sent BUT the lady was divorced and had since reverted to her maiden name, so the name on the new passport didn’t match any other documents. It was highly unlikely the Notary would agree for the sale to proceed without proof that the two names were for one person.
In Spain a woman does not change her name when she marries, the name you are born with is the one you keep all your life. Everyone has two surnames, each child takes their first surname from the mother’s last surname and the second surname from the father’s last surname, (it’s simpler than it sounds!). So the Spanish Notary was quite baffled as to why this woman changed her name on marriage and then changed her name back again with no need for any official deeds. So instead of signing for our house we reluctantly agreed to give power of attorney to our solicitor to complete in about two weeks’ time after all the proof required had been sent to Spain for the woman’s identity.
Afterwards we went over to the house. The lady owner had agreed that we could use the house as planned the next week anyway. We deposited the bags we had taken with us and went for a swim in the pool before driving back to Mum and Dad’s. It was disappointing but we weren’t worried.
Oh, how we had underestimated Spanish red tape!