Occasionally, a client can not be present for the closing, and requests to sign their closing documents in advance. I, as the closing agent, depending on the circumstances, may be able to accommodate this request through a Power of Attorney. Powers of Attorney (“POA”) are recognized by chapter 709 of the Florida Statutes. A POA can be general or specific in nature.
I recently had a closing where the Warranty Deed conveying title to a property was signed through a POA. A general POA would not suffice. Per Florida law, a POA for the purpose of conveying title has to be prepared and executed as a deed would (the general rule is that the POA must be executed with the same formalities as the document that is to be signed by the Attorney-in-fact). The POA also needs to be specific, identifying the real property that is subject of the transaction and the documents that are to be signed on behalf of the Principal (person giving another individual the power of attorney). A POA for a deed also requires two witnesses and a formal notarial acknowledgment.
I would not have been able to close if the POA had not been prepared properly. My seller was in Brazil and the seller was not going to be returning anytime soon. A lengthy delay would have cost all the parties in this transaction.
To ensure the transaction is completed even in your absence, be sure to appoint a trusted person to act as your agent with a properly prepared power of attorney.