Is there a possible problem having my mother on the title of my house if my sister has power of attorney for my mother?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is there a possible problem having my mother on the title of my house if my sister has power of attorney for my mother?

My mother is elderly and thinking of moving to FL with me. I’m about to purchase a home in a senior community, she would like to pay half since it will be her residence also. My sister has full power of attorney with my mother full disclosure, while I trust my sister on her own, I don’t trust my brother in law as far as I can throw him, and my sister won’t tell him no, could I come home one day and find out the house was sold while I was gone?

Asked on September 3, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Legally no, if you are on the title as well as your mother: a home cannot be legally sold without the consent or agreement of all owners. That does not mean that he couldn't try to do this, couldn't fake or forge your signature, couldn't possibly find a realtor who would help him skirt the law, etc., but it would still be illegal and if he did somehow manage to do this, you could very likely void the sale and/or sue him for a very great deal of compensation--and he'd only be able to do it if he was willing to be criminal about it (e.g. forge a signature) and found other parties or realtors willing to be complicit in the act. You have legal protection; we're just not going to be naive and claim that means that other people don't sometimes try to break the law to do that which they should not. If you think his character is such that he might go to that extreme, don't do this.

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