Can the grantor of power of attorney still sign legal docs after granting POA?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 12, 2016
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We recently executed an oil and gas lease with John Doe, who is a life tenant. John Doe's daughter claims she has power of attorney for her father. She is claiming that she should be the one signing the lease, as power of attorney. There is more, as one of 5 remaindermen, she claims that the lease would also have to be ratified by all remanindermen, and if not the lease is not valid. Question: Is the lease valid as is, with John Doe executing even though his daughter has power of attorney, which was not recorded in the county of the lease? Question; Do all remaindermen need to ratify the lease for it to be valid?

Expert Answers

Frederick Hertz is a lawyer, mediator and author based in Oakland, California whose work focuses on property co-ownership and financial relationships between siblings, families, spouses and domestic partners, business partners, friends, and unmarried couples. He provides both transaction and negotiation counsel and also serves as a mediator and arbitrator in these areas.

In most states the person signing a power of attorney remains legally competent to sign any documents - the POA gives an additional person the authority to sign documents, but does not take the inherent ability of the principal to sign documents. So, unless there is something to the contrary in the actual power of attorney document, or something unusual in the law of your state, this shouldn't be a problem. Your dad can go ahead and sign the lease. As to the remainder-persons, they only have "secondary" rights, which only come into effect in the future subject to certain circumstances - so unless there is something unusual going on here, they would not have authority to sign a lease, nor would their authorization be required. Nonetheless, for the long term purpose of maintaining family harmony it would probably be a good idea to include them in the discussions and take in their input, but only as advisors and family members, not as persons who sign the lease.

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