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I know I can sign over power of attorney if I'm unable to attend my closing, but would it be possible for me to video chat into the proceedings via Facetime or Skype? Is this at all common these days, or would attending digitally be more trouble than it's worth?
Attempting to attend your closing through video chat is most likely to be a source of unnecessary headaches for you and your closing team, say our experts.
First of all, it's important to note that if you can't attend your closing in person, you do need to sign over power of attorney in order to seal the deal—and your digital presence at the proceedings won't suffice. "While video-conferencing legally qualifies as attending a board meeting, it does not allow you to be legally present for a closing," notes Dean Roberts, a co-op and condo attorney with Norris, McLaughlin, & Marcus.
And if you want to conference in just to be a part of the action, you may live to regret that well-intentioned idea.
"While you can always ask to Skype, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for the entire closing," explains Beth Gittleman, head of sales at Bohemia Realty. "A closing table is like a cacophony of instruments. With a table full of people and more paperwork than you ever see on a daily basis, it takes a second to get used to the paper shuffle between all parties."
Plus, she says, "adding in a Skype attendee to an already growing number of people at the table is kind of like putting a caller on speakerphone during a group conversation. If you are the one on the phone you are always wondering if it is a good time to talk or who is saying what...it makes things more confusing."
Instead, she recommends giving your lawyer power of attorney, and making yourself available if any questions come up during the process.
"If this is a residential closing, it's highly unlikely that any substantial issue would arise that could not be addressed by a phone call," Roberts concurs. "If you have delegated your authority to an individual for execution of documents, that should be sufficient. And if a problem arises they can simply call or conference with you then."
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