Ca Real Estate Law???
Q: My parents have entered escrow on a property in California that they are very anxious to purchase. They have sold their house and escrow will be closing on this sale in one week. The property that they are in escrow to *buy* is being handled by a trustee and attorney for a woman who is in a rest home. Last week, 3 weeks after entering escrow for the purchase of their new home, the woman (owner) fired her attorney (and trustee) of 50 years and is attempting to appoint a new trustee. It appears that she does not want to sell her property -- although she is certified by Social Services as "incapacitated" or something to that effect. Her trustee (who, along with her attorney, reviewed and signed the escrow agreement) had been given "power of attorney" over 4 years ago. *Anyway*....sorry for the long intro. I have told my parents to PLEASE see an attorney ASAP, but they seem to think that everything will be OK since their initial contract was signed and they went into escrow while the power of atty. was intact. Can anyone tell me what might happen in a situation such as this? Can someone who had signed a power of attorney suddenly decide to rescind that after a contract has been entered into and withdraw from the sales of the property? What would be my parent's recourse, if anything, in this situation? Would they be at least compensated monetarily? I do hope I can convince them to see an attorney and I would certainly appreciate any advice that could be offered here.
A: In general, when someone has a legitimate power of attorney for someone else, a contract entered into by the attorney-in-fact cannot be rescinded by the creator of the power unless there is some other legal basis for doing so. If your parents have removed all contingencies to their purchase of the property, they have the legal right to force the seller to sell. At this point let your parents' real estate broker worry about the legalities. A lawyer really can't do much at this stage other than to write a nasty letter. And if the seller's broker can't talk sense to her then a lawyer won't likely do much better. In the end if the sale doesn't go through, a real estate lawyer can file suit to force the sale.