Seller Might Die Before Closing

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Question:

What happens if the Seller dies before the closing date? The Seller has already signed an Agreement of Purchase and Sale by an Attorney pursuant to a Power of attorney (POA) executed by her daughter.

Answer:

The Agreement that you have would still be enforceable but the risk is that other factors may come into play.

Hopefully, the daughter appointed as Attorney under the POA would also be appointed as the Estate Trustee under the Will. Again, let’s hope for no controversy or competing claims. Assuming that to be the case the Seller’s Estate will require the issuance of a Certificate of Appointment by the Court. This used to be called “probate”.

There have been some changes and now a complete inventory of all the Estate assets is required. Depending upon the closing date, you might expect delays, perhaps by as much as 6 months.

There are some shortcuts available which would save “probate fees” and shorten up the process. You might look into that with a real estate lawyer as that would be very worthwhile. It would work well if the property, for example, were placed in joint tenancy with the daughter.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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