Recent case out of the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Summary: A son who was given power of attorney by his mother (currently in effect) sold a house for apparently half the market value, and the court held that he didn't need to get his mom's permission, because mom had given him the durable power of attorney to manage her affairs (including disposition of real estate). Holding: It is well established that an attorney-in-fact can sell his principal's real property if the attorney-in-fact has been granted that power in clear and direct language.
The legal summary of the case follows:
Issues: Whether there was a valid and enforceable contract for the sale of real property; Effect of the durable power of attorney.
Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)
Case Name: Vansickle v. Warczinsky
Holding that there was a valid and enforceable contract for the sale of the real property at issue.
Defendant-Sharon Warczinsky owned the property. She appointed her son, codefendant-Frederick Warczinsky, as her lawful agent and attorney-in-fact. They signed a listing agreement for the property with a real estate broker (H). Plaintiff made an offer to purchase the property for $20,000.
Defendant, plaintiff, Frederick, and H participated in a conference call in order to discuss the offer. According to plaintiff, Frederick, and H, "defendant specifically agreed to sell the property for the purchase price of $20,000," and authorized Frederick Warczinsky "to sign the purchase agreement on her behalf."
The trial court considered the . . . defendant's grant of a durable power of attorney to her son. Despite defendant's affidavit that she never agreed to sell the property for the price offered and never gave permission to her attorney-in-fact to accept the offer, she did not challenge the validity of the durable power of attorney in effect at the time of the contract.
The durable power of attorney gave Warczinsky the unfettered power to sell defendant's interests in real property. It is well established that an attorney-in-fact can sell his principal's real property if the attorney-in-fact has been granted that power in clear and direct language." Thus, "the valid power of attorney and the purchase agreement signed by defendant's attorney-in-fact establish a valid contract as a matter of law."