Selling Real Estate Out of a Conservatorship

/ February 23, 2015

Mortgage contract - iStockLast fall, I covered the basics on conservatorships (see: Conservatorship Basics Part 1 and Part 2). As a review, a conservatorship is needed when an adult individual is impaired to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible personal decisions, and who has demonstrated deficits with managing property and business affairs. This type of legal action is necessary when it is clear that the individual has property that will be wasted or dissipated unless management is provided. In sum, a conservator is appointed by a court to make financial decisions for a protected person.

Step One: Court Approval

One of the most important financial decisions a conservator can make is selling the protected person’s home. This may be necessary for a host of reasons including: the protected person no longer lives in the home and will not return, or more liquidity is needed in the conservatorship estate in order to pay the protected person’s bills, or the home is a drain on the conservatorship assets in general.

In order to put the real estate on the market, the conservator must first obtain a court order. Therefore, the conservator should a file a petition to sell the property and briefly state the facts as to why it is the protected person’s best interests to sell the real property. After the filing of the petition, the court will schedule a hearing. Once the hearing is complete, if the court agrees that the real estate should be sold, then an order will be issued to describe the real estate to be sold. The conservator will then have up to one year from the date of the order to sell the property in a private sale.

Step Two: Appraisals

Once a private sale is ordered, the conservator must have the property appraised by at least two disinterested appraisers. The appraisals must be filed with the court and no purchase agreement can be signed at a value less than appraised value.

Step Three: Purchase Agreement & Court Confirmation

After a buyer is found and the terms of the purchase agreed to, the conservator must file a report with the court summarizing the appraisals and the purchase agreement. The court will then, if appropriate, confirm the sale and order the conservator to execute and deliver a conservator’s deed to transfer the property.

Also keep in mind that besides selling the real estate, a conservator could instead ask the court for permission to lease or mortgage the property, if selling it is not an ideal option. Whatever is needed to be done, be sure to contact an attorney in your area for specific information.

10 thoughts on “Selling Real Estate Out of a Conservatorship

  1. I am having trouble finding how to report the sale of real estate on the conservatorship annual accounting. Does just the gain from the sale get reported on schedule a and the value of the house as a transfer between asset accounts? Do any expenses incurred through the sale get netted to the proceeds or should they be reported separately on schedule b. Do you have any documents outlining the best procedure for this?

    Thank you

    1. Thank you for your comment, Meghan! We appreciate you reading Epilawg. Unfortunately, we can not give specific legal advice on this site. You should contact a legal professional in your area with these questions. Thanks again for reading Epilawg!

  2. Do you have to have conservatorship to sell a parents home. I’m getting mixed answers on this and wanted to know if I have to obtain conservatorship which I do not want to do. I have been on my mothers accounts for years and the realtor says I don’t need it. Just wondering if it is a must. I have been on all of her bank accounts for years and I’m just trying to sell it for money for the nursing home.

    1. Thanks for your question, Rhonda. We appreciate you reading Epilawg. Unfortunately, we cannot provide specific legal advice on this site. Be sure to contact a legal professional in your area with these questions. Thanks again for reading!

    1. Thanks for your questions, Tia. Unfortunately, we cannot provide specific legal advice on this site. Please contact an estate attorney in your area with your questions. Thanks for reading Epilawg.

  3. My brother was made the conservator for my mother. He has some debt from covering my mothers bills. The three remaining brothers signed the petition. We had a family meeting agreeing the two houses, including a beach house would go in a trust. With no reports after several months, we became concerned although, he has verbally told us everything was going as planned. After an argument, we got the reporting and find “his” attorney has transferred the beach house deed into a joint tenancy with him and my mother, basically he gets the beach house when she dies. My question, the court order reads verbatim, for the transfer to go to the conservator, but “his” attorney filed the deed so it reads that its to transfer to him personally, eliminating the parenthesis indicating he is the conservator. One, is this commonly done to qualify for a mortgage and does this leave the deed in limbo, opening it to future disputes. I have made this point and told him to partition the equity, putting one half in a trust for the family. What are the penalties for this type of deed fraud, also, the deed has not been registered.

    1. Unfortunately, Mark, we cannot provide specific legal advice on this site. Please reach out to a trust and estate attorney in your area with specific questions. Thanks for reading Epilawg.

  4. When considering values for a property that needs to be sold, what if the County Tax Value is higher than the actual appraised real estate value?

    1. Thanks for your question, Robin. Unfortunately, we cannot provide specific legal advice on this site. You should reach out to a real estate attorney in your area with questions. Thanks for reading Epilawg.

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