Selling in Ontario using a Power of Attorney

Question:

I expect to be the Listing Agent. A son and his parents are the registered owners of residential property in Ontario. The parents are currently in Europe.

Is it sufficient if parents give to their son a hand-written Power of Attorney to list and sell the property?

Answer:

The correct form of a Power of Attorney will be the one of the jurisdiction of their domicile. So, I’m not sure if they live somewhere in Europe or whether they live here, and they are just on vacation.

Assuming they live in Ontario, then they will need to complete the standard Ontario format. It must bear their own original signatures (no digital signatures of any kind are permitted).

There must be two witnesses. They will also sign the document. If need be, the witnesses will have to attest to the fact that the donors:

  • were competent,
  • had legal capacity,
  • signed the document willingly and
  • were not subject to intoxicating drugs or alcohol, or
  • were not subject to undue influence from others.

If they were here, then they should have the correct document prepared by their lawyer ahead of time. If they are in Europe, then they can have their Ontario lawyer prepare the document and it can be notarized in the jurisdiction where they are located.

If they now live in Europe permanently and have changed their domicile, then, they should consult a local lawyer to prepare the correct document. This is a little more complicated.

To save some time an aggravation, since digital signatures are now permitted in Ontario, you could extend the irrevocable time and forward the documents to them for execution and return, using DocuSign or some such other acceptable software.

Note: Following Covid, digital execution has been permitted as well as the attestation over the internet, ie, Zoom. Whether we will go back once the pandemic is over, I don’t know.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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