Can You Use A Power Of Attorney For An Entity?

This is Deirdre Brown, your settlement agent, serving the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Today I’m going to answer a question of whether a Power of Attorney can be used to assign the authority of a Personal Represenative of an estate.

Here is a scenario.  We had a situation where a personal representative was unavailable and she tried to assign her authority to sell a property that is held in an estate via a Power of Attorney to her son. The son signed the listing agreement on behalf of the estate.  Unfortunately a Power of Attorney cannot be used when to assign the authority of  personal representative for an estate. The personal representative cannot sign away their duties as a personal representative. They can go to the court and ask the court to assign another personal representative, therefore the listing agreement was not valid. 

This is the same if there is an entity. So if you have an LLC, partnership or corporation and let’s say there was a sole managing member that person cannot assign via Power of Attorney their authority to act on behalf of the entity. They can execute a resolution that gives someone else has the authority to act on behalf of the entity. 

This also true for trust. A trustee cannot use a Power of Attorney to assign away the rights of the person who has the authority to sell on behalf of the trust. They would need to appoint a new trustee. 

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