If I bought a house with my mother and have her POA, can I sign for her if she now does not want to sell?

My mother and I bought a house together. My wife also lives here with us but not on the mortgage. My mother has hated it here since day one and wanted to sell it and move back where we came from. My wife and I finally decided to sell. However, now she now refuses to sign any papers selling the house. She is 86 years old. Can I sign for her? I have POA over her.

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Assuming you have a valid power of attorney (poa) signed by your mother before a notary public designating you as her attorney in fact which has not been revoked and assuming the power of attorney that she signed naming you as her attorney in fact gives you the power to sell the home you are writing about, you appear to have the legal authority to sell her interests in it.

I caution you about selling the home too quickly given your mother's reluctance to have the home sold where she owns an interest in it. As your mother's attorney in fact, you are her fiduciary and owe her the duties of utmost care and loyalty. I suggest that you sit down with your mother and some neutral third person to discuss her concerns about the desired sale.

You need to realize that many people get used to a living environment and are reluctant to move out of it.

Good luck.

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