What’s Missing from this Picture? How to Analyze a Power of Attorney

As a kid, when I went to the dentist’s or doctor’s office, I remember looking at the Highlights magazine. One of my favorite features was the puzzle at the back of the magazine where there were two drawings that, at first glance, looked identical. But they weren’t and the puzzle was to find what was missing or different in the second drawing. Examining the Power of Attorney forms used by the unburdening companies is a similar type of puzzle.

Typically, the Power of Attorney forms used by Unburdening Companies are carelessly filled out and signed during the unburdening sales presentation by untrained salespeople whose only goal is to close the deal. This typically leads to defects and errors which render the document unenforceable.

So here’s what you need to look for:

Does the Power of Attorney legally describe the timeshare interval? The legal description typically includes an Interval Number, an Assessor’s Parcel Number, a unit type, a seasonal use, a frequency of use, etc., and an exhibit “A” with a full legal description of the property as it appears on the Owner’s deed.

Has the Power of Attorney been executed showing the legal vesting of the owners and in the exact names as the recorded deed? Are the signatures properly notarized and is the acknowledgement in the proper form required by the recorder of jurisdiction? Very frequently the timeshare interest is owned by a trust but the owners have signed their names as individuals and not in their capacity as Trustees.

Has the person representing that they hold the Power of Attorney provided the Association with adequate credentials confirming that they are in fact, the party that holds the Power of Attorney? For example, it would be reasonable to expect a photocopy of a valid driver’s license or passport or request that the instructions be notarized with an acknowledgement that this is the actual person making the request. Only the actual named attorney can act under the document.

Has the person representing that they hold the Power of Attorney instructed you to communicate with and/or authorized another person who is not identified on the Power of Attorney to transact business regarding the timeshare interval? Only the actual named attorney can act under the document.

Often, in an attempt to monetize the use rights associated with the timeshare interest, a reservation request accompanies the Power of Attorney. Does the reservation request provide the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the person for whom the reservation is being made? Many resorts’ governing documents allow only the current owner to make reservation requests.

If any of these are the case, we suggest that you send a letter similar to the model letter POA LETTER .doc located from the Downloads Tab.