Power of Attorney

Alicia Kellog

By Alicia Kellogg

There may be a situation where it is necessary to appoint another person, in your place, to sell some real estate on your behalf.

For example, you will be out of the country and unavailable to attend the closing of a home you are selling. So, you grant the authority to your son to attend the closing and sign the necessary documents to complete the transaction on your behalf. By signing a limited power of attorney, your son will be granted the authority to manage the sale of the property.

A power of attorney is a kind of agency. This document allows you to give someone else the legal authority to act on your behalf as your agent or attorney-in-fact. If the agent signs a contract, it is as if you signed the contract.

A person may participate in a closing through an agent. To do so, that person would want to execute a Limited Power of Attorney, which allows a person to give only specific powers to their agent.

A power of attorney must be signed authorizing the agent to execute all the necessary acts at the closing, which include signing the deed and all other closing documents. If the intent is to permit the agent to undertake all actions on behalf of the party, the power of attorney needs to be clear that your agent can do so.

It is best if the power of attorney is recorded in the county register of deeds that the property is located it. And it should be recorded in combination with any conveyance of property to clarify the extent of the authorized powers.

This particular power of attorney becomes effective immediately and remains effective until (a.) the real estate is sold and the transaction is completed, (b.) in the event of death or incapacity of the Grantor, or (c.) if the Grantor revokes the document (whichever is first).

The word “attorney” is not used here to mean “lawyer.” The person acting as the agent or attorney-in-fact doesn’t need to be a lawyer. Almost anyone can be appointed an attorney-in-fact. But who it should be is an individual that you trust to execute the transaction.

Limited Power of Attorneys can be very helpful if you are unable to personally sign papers and ensure that your closing takes place as it should.

Alicia Kellogg is Access Title Agency’s new on-staff attorney for the Traverse City and Suttons Bay, Michigan offices. She graduated cum laude from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and is licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan. Contact info: akellogg@accesstitleagency.com or (231) 539-1203.

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