Cana wife legally sign her husband’s name to legal documents?

UPDATED: Aug 21, 2011

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Cana wife legally sign her husband’s name to legal documents?

If a husband is in prison, can the wife sign his name to property title and transfer ownership?

Asked on August 21, 2011 South Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, a wife cannot just sign her husband's signature, no matter that he is incarcerated.  Such such a signature is not legally valid.  In fact if a wife attempts to do this, she could be charged with forgery, fraud, and possibly other offenses - whether not he consented to her doing this.. The correct way for a wife to sign her husband's name is by doing the same thing that anyone who need to sign his signature would do. Namely, get a valid "Power of Attorney" (POA) executed.

A POA is a document that grants an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” (in this case the wife) to give that individual the legal authority to make decisions for a “principal”  (in this case the husband). this individual can be given the authority to deal with only one particular issue (a specific power of attorney) or to handle all or most of the principal’s personal and/or financial matters (a general power of attorney).

Since the laws for creating a power of attorney vary from state-to-state, an attorney should be consulted with on this matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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