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Real Estate Law Blog

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Using a Power of Attorney for a New York Real Estate Closing

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 11:45 PM

If you are unable to attend a real estate closing and sign the necessary documents you can have your attorney prepare a power of attorney for you thereby allowing your agent to act for you at the closing.  A power of attorney is a document in which a person appoints someone to act as their agent and perform certain acts on their behalf. The powers which may be given to your agent can be very broad, or limited depending on the purpose for giving the power of attorney.  For example, your can give your agent very broad powers to manage all your financial affairs, or limited powers to sign documents on your behalf at a real estate closing for a specific property only.

Sellers use a power of attorney for real estate closings more often than do purchasers.  The most likely reason for this is that many purchasers' lenders are reluctant to permit the use of powers of attorney by their borrowers.  If you are a purchaser and need to use a power of attorney, check with your bank and title company in advance to see what their policy is concerning powers of attorneys.  If your lender does not permit the use of a power of attorney, your agent will not be authorized to sign on your behalf.  Additionally, it is prudent to have the document reviewed by the title agency, as their approval is required before they will rely on it for title transfer purposes.

A power of attorney is designed to be effective until death, unless voluntarily revoked, even if you become incompetent or incapacitated. Therefore, it is imperative that you choose an agent that is trustworthy and will carry out your financial instructions properly.

If you need a power of attorney contact an experienced New York attorney to prepare one for you.  After the power is prepared, you and the person that you have designated as your agent need to sign it before a notary public.  The law governing a power of attorney in New York State is General Obligations Law Sec. 5-1501.


Jeanne M. Reardon is an attorney experienced in preparing powers of attorney.  To speak with an experienced real estate attorney about closing with a power of attorney, call us at (516) 314-8433.  


Categories: Real Estate

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