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Selling Property Using Power of Attorney in Minnesota

By June 23, 2024 July 1st, 2024 No Comments

When it comes to selling your property in Minnesota, there are a number of issues that can prevent you from handling the transaction yourself. It could be due to health issues, living out of state, or simply the busy schedule that comes from managing multiple properties.

In cases like these, understanding the legal concept of Power of Attorney (POA) can help you protect your interests by appointing a trusted friend, family member, or professional estate lawyer to handle the sale of your property on your behalf. You can specify exact terms for these people to follow, or grant them permission to use their best judgment.

How Power of Attorney Works in Minnesota

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows one person (the principal) to grant another person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on their behalf. In Minnesota, there are specific statutes that govern how POA can be used and how it pertains to real estate transactions. A POA used for the sale of property must be extremely specific and clearly outline the agent’s powers to sell, transfer, and manage real estate property on behalf of the principal.

For a POA to be valid in Minnesota, it must be signed by the principal in the presence of a public notary. For the POA to allow the sale of real estate, it must also be recorded with the county recorder’s office where the property is located.

Common Reasons for Using Power of Attorney in Property Sales

Power of attorney is an incredibly helpful tool that can be used for a variety of reasons. At Waldron Law Offices, Ltd., we’ve compiled a list of the most common reasons that specifically deal with property sales. When we help clients who are dealing with these issues, we often see the same questions come up multiple times, so we’ve included some FAQs that might give you a better understanding of your own options.

Common reasons people use the power of attorney for their property sales include:

  • Health or Mobility Issues: An aging parent or a person with health problems may find it challenging to manage the sale of their property alone. A POA allows them to pick someone they trust to handle the transaction so they can feel confident the deal is handled carefully and with their best interest in mind.
  • Living Out of State: Sometimes property owners live far from the property they need to sell because they’ve relocated for work, retired in a different state, or inherited property in another location. Handling the sale from a distance can be challenging, so they appoint a trusted agent to manage the sale locally. The agent will ensure all relevant city district obligations are met, along with the state and federal ones.
  • Managing Multiple Properties: For busy professionals who manage multiple properties, keeping up with the details of each sale can be overwhelming. Granting a POA to a reliable agent allows the owner to focus on their broader investment strategy while still ensuring each property sale is handled efficiently and effectively.
  • Military Service: Service members deployed overseas or stationed far from home may need to sell a property while they’re away. A POA allows them to designate someone back home to take care of the sale and gives them peace of mind that their interests are protected while they serve.
  • End of Life or Retirement Planning: The older generation may prefer to have a trusted family member handle the sale of their property, especially if they are experiencing physical or cognitive decline.
  • Legal or Financial Complications: Sometimes, legal or financial complications arise that make it necessary to designate power of attorney. For instance, if the property is part of an estate currently being settled, appointing a knowledgeable agent can streamline the process and ensure all the legal requirements are met.

Frequently Asked Questions about Using Power of Attorney in Property Sales

  • What if my parent is no longer mentally competent enough to sign a POA?
    If your parent is currently incapacitated physically or mentally, you will need to seek a court-appointed guardianship or conservatorship instead of using a power of attorney. The court will evaluate your specific situation and appoint a guardian or conservator who can manage your parent’s affairs, including the sale of any property.
  • Can the agent sell the property at any price?
    The agent must act in the principal’s best interest and cannot sell the property for less than its fair market value without the principal’s consent. It’s important for the agent to conduct a thorough market analysis and consider multiple offers to ensure the property is sold at a fair price. Any sale that appears to undervalue the property could be challenged by the principal or their family. And the agent could be held liable for not fulfilling the duties outlined in their contract.
  • What happens if the agent misuses the power of attorney?
    If the agent misuses the POA, the principal or their family can seek legal action to hold the agent accountable for any intentional wrongdoing. Misuse, in this case, can include any actions that are not in the principal’s best interest or that go beyond the authority granted to the agent. If these issues come up, the POA will be revoked, and the agent will be responsible for any financial losses they caused to the principal. It’s important to carefully choose an agent you can trust and to review the actions they take regularly. Many of our clients prefer to designate a professional agent to handle their affairs so friends and family are not burdened or tempted.

Call Waldron Law Offices, Ltd. Today

At Waldron Law Offices, Ltd., we understand that dealing with property sales and legal documents can be complicated and time-consuming. Our experienced legal team can guide you through every step of the process and ensure your transactions are handled quickly and smoothly. If you need assistance drafting a power of attorney document or managing the sale of your Minnesota property, we can help. Reach out to us today at (952) 471-0940 to schedule a consultation.

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