Power of Attorney

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Power of Attorney

I bought a house for my daughter when she got divorced and couldn’t do so herself. She lived in another state and sent a POA for me to add her to the deed. That POA has never been revoked and I am asking if I can use it again to remove her from the deed so I can sell the house. Things aren’t working out since she moved in a boyfriend who is disrespecting me.

Asked on February 9, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot use a POA against the person who granted it to you. The person given power by the POA (the "agent" or "attorney in fact"--either term may be used) has a legal duty, called a "fiduciary duty" to act in the interest of the person giving them the power of attorney. Removing her from the deed through her POA would be a violation of that duty, could be reversed or undone, and could lead to her suing you for money as well.
If you are both on the deed, however, you can bring a type of legal action called an action "for partition" in which you get a court order that the house be sold and the proceeds (after paying the cost of sale and paying off any mortgages, liens, etc.) be divided among the owners. When the owners of real estate disagree about what to do, the law gives them the option of forcing a sale so they can go their separate ways. To explore this option, consult with an attorney.


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