Moving Mom Monday: What Important Documentation Do You Need?

Senior couple packing a miving box

Whether buying, selling, or leasing, every locale has its standard real estate sales and purchase contracts, disclosures, and professional documentation. Beyond the basics, however, it is recommended that families take time to create contingency plans and compile important documents when assisting older adults, particularly if they are frail, undergoing medical treatments, or experiencing elevated stress during the transition process.

1. General Power of Attorney (POA): Transfers the legal authority to act on one’s behalf to another party.

2. Durable Power of Attorney: Transfers the legal authority to act on one’s behalf for any legal task.

3. Special, Specific, or Limited Power of Attorney: Grants a designated agent the authority to conduct a specific, designated function. *

4. Death Certificate and/or a Will: Likely to be requested by the closing agent, regardless of the title held, if any of the property owners are deceased.

5. Trust documents: These vary widely in terms of the powers granted to trustees. You will need to provide pertinent trust documentation to one’s real estate professional or title representative/closing agent when requested.

6. Abstract: A complete record of all matters of public record that affect ownership rights to a particular piece of real property.

7. Home repair history: Accuracy is important when completing property condition disclosures legally required when selling most residential property. By simply compiling receipts for recent major improvements or repairs in advance, the completion of otherwise lengthy forms can be expedited, relieving any unnecessary stress and frustration for already overwhelmed senior homeowners or family members.

* NOTE: Having a general or durable power of attorney may be sufficient for signing listing documents or negotiating sales contracts. However, some title insurance companies and closing agents require specific powers of attorney when deed transfers are involved. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable real estate professional with access to legal counsel or a trusted real estate attorney regarding the laws governing real estate conveyances in your area.


DAYNA WILSON: As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582