John and Marge had recently retired.  John decided to surprise Marge with a world trip they had always talked about. They decided to put their house on the market, hoping that if it sold quickly it could finance part of their trip.

It didn’t sell before they left, so John and Marge then set off, telling their real estate agent to direct all correspondence to their son Ben who would have control of their affairs while they were away. This was the best option as attempting to get in touch with them would be difficult, particularly if anything urgent were to arise.

A number of very good offers were received for the property. However, when it came time to sign the Agreement for Sale and Purchase, John and Marge’s lawyer advised Ben that there was no power of attorney in place allowing Ben to act on his parents’ behalf. This meant that Ben did not have the legal authority to sign the Agreement. John and Marge had thought that as next of kin Ben would automatically have this authority. Unfortunately they were wrong and as a result the sale fell through! By the time Ben could reach his parents the other offers had dried up.

The only way to ensure someone can sign documents on your behalf is if they have a power of attorney to sign on your behalf. If you think you may need to arrange a power of attorney you should contact us.