The answer should be contained in the power of attorney document itself"”although you may have to wade through some legal gobbledygook and do a bit more legwork to get the
First thing to check is whether your power as agent has actually taken effect. Many DPAs, for example, require that a doctor"”and sometimes two of them"”certify in writing that the principal is mentally incapacitated before the agent will be empowered. If you don't have this paperwork, secure it.
Also check the wording of the DPA in the section that spells out the agent's powers. Most are quite specific about what the agent can do"”and by interpretation, the powers that are not specifically named may not be bestowed.
Sometimes, however, there is a sort of a catchall clause that specifies that an agent must take steps that are "reasonably and practically necessary" to carry out the principal's best interests. If you anticipate that your mother or any other potentially interested party may challenge your decision to sell, it may be worthwhile to get a signed statement from an experiences expert such as a financial planner or estate planning attorney"”just to act a insurance and evidence that the decision is objectively sound.
Your final hurdle might be getting the financial institutions and other agencies involved in the sale to accept your authority. If the DPA and evidence that it is in effect are sound, this should be automatic. Most will require that you produce a copy of the DPA and doctors' certificates as proof.
But some institutions are sticklers for their own rules"”requiring you to complete an additional document that certifies you are empowered to make the sale. And some will buck, for example, if the name of person on the house title is even slightly different than the one on the DPA: "Mary A. Smith" as opposed to "Mary Smith." These hurdles are not insurmountable, but can be annoying"”and can mean you will need to produce additional documents, such as a copy of a birth certificate, Social Security card, or mail showing the alternative forms of the name.
To avoid delays and minimize angst, prepare by asking representatives at each institution involved what it requires.