Title Tenets Webinar Series

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The Authority to Act and the Power to Transact

October 2023

How do you know if a party to your real estate transaction has the authority to sell the real estate or to encumber it in connection with a purchase or refinance of the asset? Equally important, how do you know who has the authority to execute the transaction documents? The authority to execute transaction documents is governed by state laws. The authority to engage in the transaction, be it a sale, refinance, or purchase, may be in the case of individuals, trustees, and heirs, governed by state law and by the probate court, trust or entity documents.

To ascertain authority for the transaction and the correct signor, title insurance companies and lenders in commercial real estate transactions have requirements for confirming both the authority to do the deal and to confirm the identity of the party with authority to execute the closing documents. The manner of execution depends on:

  • Who is the party? Is the party who is to be bound by the document an individual, a partnership, a limited liability company, the government, an association, a corporation, or a trustee?
  • What type of document will be executed? Is it a grant deed, a mortgage, a lease, or an easement?
  • What documents will the title insurer, lender require? Resolutions, unanimous written consents, trust agreements, formation documents, bylaws, operating agreements, etc.?
  • Wet Ink or electronic signatures? Will DocuSign and/or emails providing consent be sufficient?

This presentation will address the above issues and through the use of hypotheticals set forth what will be needed to understand and evaluate both the authority for the transaction and the signing authority of the proposed signor.

View the recording of this webinar.

Note: Watching the recorded webinar does not necessarily mean you will receive CLE credit.

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