Knowing your gestor from your abogado in Spain

Life in Spain Wed, 20 Feb 2013
Knowing your gestor from your abogado in Spain

We might talk about legal advisers and executives, solicitors, barristers and lawyers. But there’s one professional in Spain who is even more difficult to pin down - the Spanish ‘gestor’.

Many people who find themselves living in or visiting Spain frequently, have had some contact with the multi-talented ‘gestor’. It might have been to sort out a driving licence, transfer ownership of a car or tackle some other aspect of mind-numbing bureaucracy.  

As Spain is burdened down with paper work it’s no wonder that the gestor has plenty of quasi-legal activities to get involved with. But how are they different from the abogado and what role does the asesor hold? It’s not always easy to work out what’s what, who’s who and which door to knock on.

This table might just help:

Title Definition What they do
Abogado Spanish lawyer
  • Property and urban law
  • Inheritance
  • Disputes and litigation  
  • Divorce and custody
  • Other legal matters
Fiscal Asesor Financial or tax adviser/ advisor
  • Tax advice and information
  • Accountancy services
  • Fiscal representation
  • Other financial matters
Gestor Licensed administrative office - A professional dealing with state-related paper work
  • Self-employment and social security
  • Transfer of vehicle ownership
  • Driving licences and other car related matters
  • Other ‘paperwork’ matters
Notario Notary - a qualified lawyer who has completed an additional period of specialised study
  • Legalising documents such as power of attorney, wills, the Title Deed
  • Is a representative of the state and will offer advice on legal points but does not check the contractual terms 
Procurador Legal expert who works with a lawyer
  • Preparation and presentation of documents to the court

As you can see, a number of different roles that in many cases will overlap. So, for example, at Ábaco we specialise in both fiscal and legal advice so spanning the title of asesor and abogado. Some  gestors also do tax declarations and will take on some legal matters normally associated with an Abogado.

It is most important that whatever task you need help with you check:

  • That the professional has some form of accreditation and is part of a professional body, perhaps being registered with the college of lawyers, economists and official translators.
  • That they are fluent in your native language if you are not fluent in Spanish
  • There are others who can vouch for their efficiency and reliability – in other words, they need a reference

You entrust these individuals with your money, your property and your personal information, it’s worth making sure you have the right person for the job.

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