My Spouse Has My Power of Attorney. Can She Sign for Me at the Closing, So I Won’t Have to Attend?

May 1, 2017

Possibly. You need to inform the closing attorney that you want to do this, because he or she will need to see the Power of Attorney beforehand to see if it is valid for your real estate closing. Also, the attorney will need time to prepare additional documents in this situation, and the original Power of Attorney will have to be recorded. I often see Powers of Attorney that the persons filled out on a form they got at an office supply store; I HAVE NEVER SEEN such a “homemade” Power of Attorney that was valid for a real estate closing.

(IMPORTANT NOTE, added 1-27-2000: Thanks to a recent change in North Carolina Law, eliminating the requirement of a “seal,” many such “homemade” Powers of Attorney, prepared from software, etc., might now be valid for a real estate closing, but it is still critical that they be reviewed by the attorney before closing.)

Please note also that a Power of Attorney, though perfectly valid, might have been written to be used only for an earlier, specific closing or transaction. Such Powers of Attorney, containing a limitation to specific property, a specific mortgage loan or lender, or an expiration date, are very common.

In this case you will need to sign a new Power of Attorney.If you are a borrower on the mortgage, your lender also has to approve your non-attendance at the closing through the Power of Attorney; many lenders will require you to attend anyway (if you want the loan). Most lenders that allow Powers of Attorney, require that they be specific for the transaction, as described above.