Can Power of Attorney Sell Property Before Death?

Certainly! One can use Power of Attorney to sell property before death.

But using this method makes selling a home a bit more complicated because there are specific rules, paperwork, and talking to people involved.

The person you give this power to (called the agent) has to be careful not to misuse it and has to do their job responsibly.

When selling a property, it’s important to get approval from everyone involved.

However, there are times when you might need to let someone else handle the sale for you, and that’s where the Power of Attorney comes in handy for planning your estate.

Power of Attorney Sell Property Before Death
Can a Power of Attorney Sell Property Before Death? Photo Source (The Hive)

What is power of attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is like a special document that allows someone to make choices for you about money or health if you can’t decide. The person you pick for this is called an agent.

The agent has to make choices that are good for you as long as the power of attorney is valid. It’s really important that the agent is legally allowed to make decisions for you, especially for large transactions.

Selling a Property with a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is like giving someone the power to do legal things for you.

You can say exactly what they can do, such as selling your house or giving them more general power, depending on the type of power of attorney.

Even though a power of attorney works everywhere, each state has its own rules about how and when you can use it.

Which POAs Enable Property Sales Before Death?

When someone wants to sell their property before they pass away, there are different types of power of attorney (POA) that can give someone else the right to do it.

Here are some types of POAs that allow property sales:

  1. General Power of Attorney: This lets someone do a lot of things for the owner, like handling money and selling property, but it depends on what the paper says.
  2. Limited Power of Attorney: This allows someone to do specific tasks for the owner. If selling the property is one of these tasks, they can sell it.
  3. Durable Power of Attorney: This stays valid even if the owner can’t make decisions. If it says the person can sell the property, they can do it before the owner passes away.
  4. Springing Power of Attorney: This comes into play only when certain things happen like the owner can’t make decisions. If it says they can sell the property, they can do it when those things happen.
  5. Financial Power of Attorney: This lets someone handle the owner’s money. If it says they can sell the property, they can do it legally.

The person with the power (agent) has to follow what’s written in the POA and always do what’s best for the owner.

Steps to Follow When Selling Property Before Death as a POA

Selling someone’s property before they pass away as their Power of Attorney (POA) can be a bit tricky.

But here are the steps to make sure things go smoothly:

  1. Check Your Power: Look at the paper that gives you the power (POA) and see if it lets you sell the property. It should also tell you if there are any rules to follow.
  2. Get the Papers Together: Gather all the papers you need, like the property deed, survey, and other important documents. You might also need an agreement with the buyer that talks about how the sale will happen.
  3. Think About Getting Help: If you’re not sure about what to do, you can ask a real estate agent or a lawyer to help you out.
  4. Put the Property Up for Sale: If it’s a house or land, let people know it’s for sale. A real estate agent can help with this part.
  5. Look at Offers and Talk About the Details: See what people are offering and talk about the important details, like how much money and when the sale will happen.
  6. Get Permission and Signatures: Before you can sell, you need the owner’s permission or signature.
  7. Finish the Sale: Go to the final meeting where the sale is completed, sign the papers, and make sure the property goes to the new owner.

The steps might be a bit different depending on the property and where you live. Always follow the rules in your area to avoid any problems.

Power of Attorney in the Sale of Property
Power of Attorney in the Sale of Property. Photo Source (Freepik)

Potential Risks and Challenges of Selling Property as a POA

Being someone’s power of attorney and selling their property can be tricky, and there are some potential problems to watch out for. It’s really important to understand these issues so you can make good decisions and avoid any bad outcomes.

Here are some things to think about:

  1. Not Clear Power: The paper giving you power (POA) needs to be very clear about letting you sell the property. If it’s not clear, the sale might not work.
  2. Legal and Money Issues: You might be responsible for any problems or money issues if you don’t follow the rules for selling the property.
  3. Making Money Issues: If you can make money from selling the property, it might cause problems. People could say you’re doing something wrong.
  4. Handling Money Wrong: If you don’t handle the money from the sale the right way, you could get in trouble. You might have to give the money back.
  5. Family Fights: Selling property this way can cause fights in the family, especially if some family members don’t agree with selling or how it’s being done.
  6. Legal Problems: The sale might be challenged by family or others, and this could lead to expensive and long legal problems.

To avoid these issues, read the power of attorney paper carefully, talk to legal experts if needed, and be open with everyone involved.

Risks of Selling Property as a Power of Attorney
Risks of Selling Property as a Power of Attorney. Photo Source (LinkedIn)


Using a Power of Attorney (POA) to sell a property can be handy but can be tricky sometimes.

You need to understand different types of POAs, like General or Durable.

Selling involves collecting papers, maybe getting help from pros, telling people the property is for sale, talking about the sale details, and finishing the sale.

But there are problems like not being clear about who can make decisions, owing money, or family fights.

To avoid issues, read the POA carefully, ask for legal advice, and be honest with everyone involved.

While a POA is useful, you have to be careful and follow the rules for a smooth sale.