It may happen that you or your spouse must be out of town at the time of your escrow closing. Perhaps you suddenly have to go out of the country and you may be worried how you are going to close your escrow on time when you can't physically be present for the closing. There are several solutions to this problem.
The first solution and the one that has most often been used in the past and is most widely accepted is the Power of Attorney form. This form allows you to give the power of your signature to someone else who will sign on your behalf. You may sign a Limited Power of Attorney, which would pertain to a certain transaction, so you do not have to fear that someone could sign you life away. The Power of Attorney form may also be General, covering a broad range of topics. The Power of Attorney form should be recorded at the County Recorder's office. When the person returns, he will record a cancellation of the power at the recorder's office.
A second alternative to signing escrow instructions when you are out of town, is the use of a signature sent by way of Fax. Some escrow and title companies are allowing escrow instructions with fax copies of signatures, with the understanding that the original signed copies will be supplied a few days later.
The escrow holder allowing a faxed signature will include a statement which will state that “in the event the buyer, seller, agent and/or assigns utilize facsimile instructions, the escrow holder is instructed to rely and act upon such instructions, in the same manner as if the original signed instructions and/or amendments were in the possession of the escrow holder and the buyer and or seller agree to forward signed hard copies of instructions, and/or amendments within 48 hours ( or other specified time ) of transmission. The Escrow holder will take no responsibility or liability for any party who relies upon facsimile instructions which were erroneously transmitted to the escrow holder.”
Many escrow companies do not like to rely on a fax copy of signatures, as the opportunity to forge a signature is easily done. The escrow companies may use the fax system to gather required information, such as payoff and credit information, but they prefer to close escrow on live signatures, or with a Power of Attorney authorization.