Does a handwritten letter need to be notirized to be binding?

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Does a handwritten letter need to be notirized to be binding?

I have a handwritten letter giving me authorization to do as I want the property that is jointly owned. It is from my ex-husband who has moved out of state and I haven’t been able to contact him due to him being homeless. Is the letter legal and binding?

Asked on July 23, 2019 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

It can't give you more authority than the person writing it had, which means that you can't sell it without the joint owner's approval, can't exclude the joint owner from it, etc.
Subject to the above limitation, you can be given whatever power or authority the principal (person creating the document) had if it is signed in front of a notary, who then notarizes it; your state (WI) does not require witnesses to make it binding. 


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