My mother gave my sister living power of attorney to handle her business and she went and had the deed to her home put in her name without my mothers knowledge. Can she actually do that and sign the deed over into her name without

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My mother gave my sister living power of attorney to handle her business and she went and had the deed to her home put in her name without my mothers knowledge. Can she actually do that and sign the deed over into her name without

her name without my mother actually being there to sign the abstract? Is that
legal for my sister to do that even tho she did have a living power of attorney
over my mother?

Asked on November 5, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if the POA gives the attorney-in-fact or agent (those are the terms for the person given power by the POA) authority over the principal's (person granting the POA) real estate, this could be done.
BUT--and this is a big "but"--all agents/attorneys-in-fact have a "fiduciary duty" to their principal. This is the obligation imposed by law to only act in the principal's best interest and to not benefit herself at the principal's expense. If this transfer was not in your mother's interest when it was done--and not being in her interest includes taking the property away from those who stood to inherit it, such as other heirs, from her, since she is presumed to want it to go to her heirs--this would be a violation of fiduciary duty. If it was a violation of fiduciary duty, it may be possible to sue your sister for that violation and force her to return the home to the estate, so it (or its value, after a sale) can be distributed among/to whomever should have inherited. Speak wth a probate law attorey to better understand your right as (we presume) heir to challenge this, the cost of the action, and what you'd need to show to win, so you can make an informed decision as to whether to challenge what you sister did.


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