Question: My brother is going on a two-year mission in Africa for our church. He wants to give me a power of attorney to sell his Scottsdale condominium. Do we need a power of attorney? If so, how do we get a power of attorney?
Answer: In the internet age, I question whether your brother needs to give you his power of attorney. I would suggest that your brother list his Scottsdale condominium with a competent real estate broker before he leaves for his mission. The real estate broker and the title company should generally be able to have the transaction close by email, except that express mail can be used for documents that need recording such as the deed and the affidavit of value. If your brother still wants you to have his power of attorney to hire a real estate broker and close the sale of the Scottsdale condominium, I would recommend a special power of attorney. A special power of attorney is limited to one asset such as this Scottsdale condominium. (On the other hand, a general power of attorney would give you control over all of your brother’s personal and real property.) This special power of attorney must meet the requirements of the title company that will insure the title for any buyer, so I would suggest that you get a form of a power of attorney from the title company that will be handling the sale of the Scottsdale condominium. Although stationery stores do have both general and special power of attorney forms, many of these power of attorney forms do not have language required by a title company, e.g., specific language to terminate the power of attorney.