Using a Power of Attorney for a New York Real Estate Closing
Sellers and purchasers of New York real property, who, for various reasons, are unable to attend a real estate closing can sign a power of attorney instead. A power of attorney is a document in which a person appoints someone to act as their agent who can then attend the closing on their behalf.
New York Statutory Short Form Power of AttorneyYour attorney can prepare the power of attorney, which in New York State is known as the Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney.
Limitations on the use of a Power of Attorney at a real estate closing.Purchasers who are using bank financing must check to see if thir lender will permit their use of a power of attorney. Lenders are often reluctant to permit the use of powers of attorneys by their borrowers. If you are a purchaser and need to use a power of attorney, check with your bank to see what their policy is concerning powers of attorneys. If you are a fiduciary such as an executor of an estate or trustee of a trust, you cannot use a power of attorney to delegate your powers to an agent.
Use of the power of attorney at the ClosingAt the closing, your agent will need to sign an affidavit that you are alive (A power of attorney is only effective while the principal is alive) that you have consented to the transaction and that the power of attorney has not been revoked and is in full force and effect. This affidavit is commonly called a "Full Force and Effect Affidavit." Thus it is generally a good idea that you are available to speak to your agent by phone so that he or she can confirm these facts the day of the closing.
Using an existing power of attorneyIf you wish to use an an existing power of attorney, have it reviewed by your attorney to see if it is acceptable. New York laws concerning powers of attorneys have changed frequently in the last few years and older forms, if they were signed after the effective date of the most recent change, may not be valid.