Can my sister who has power of attorney sell my mother’s home before my mother dies?

UPDATED: Aug 12, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Aug 12, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my sister who has power of attorney sell my mother’s home before my mother dies?

 A document has been granted to convey my mother’s property to her children but not until her death.

Asked on August 12, 2011 Vermont


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First, you need to reference exactly what the POA says--a POA can provide someone power to sell a home, or it can be much more limited in scope. So the POA itself will define the extent of your sister's power.

Second, the attorney in fact (the one to whom the power is given) is a fiduciary and must exercise the power for the benefit of the one who granted it (your mother). If this is the wrong move for your mother, it may be possible to challenge it on that ground. For example, say that the home would be split amongst the siblings, but this sister gets all cash in the will--you may be able to show that this act, selling the home to convert it to cash--is a self-interested one that benefts your sister, not your mother.

Third, even if your sister can make the sale, the money has to be used or or remain with your mother, so if you sister has diverted the funds, she has breached her power and possibly committed a crime (a form of theft) as well.

If you have reservations about yous sister's intentions or actions, you should consult with an attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption