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December 22, 2018


Word of the day


A competent and disinterested person authorized by another person to act in her place. In real estate conveyance transactions, an attorney-in-fact, who has a fiduciary relationship with the principal, should be so authorized by way of a written, notarized, and recordable instrument called a power of attorney. The attorney-in-fact need not be an attorneyat-law, although people often give a power of attorney to their lawyers. 

An attorney-in-fact may have a general or specific power; however, even one with general powers may not act in any way contrary to the principal’s interests (for instance, selling the principal’s property for inadequate consideration) or act in his own interests (for example, conveying the principal’s land to himself). The listing broker should think carefully about possible conflicts of interest before accepting a power of attorney from the client and should also consider having separate written instructions detailing exactly what actions, and/or on what terms, the broker is authorized to act. 

An attorney-in-fact appointed by a minor is not competent to convey title to real property owned by the minor. 

A husband cannot be his wife’s attorney-in-fact for purposes of releasing her dower rights.

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