Conservators are charged with managing the assets of a protected person, including real estate. There may come a time when one of the properties owned by the protected person must be sold. Whether this is simply the best financial decision for the protected person, or the funds made from the sale will be needed to pay essential bills, there is a process that must be followed by conservators when selling any property assets they manage.
Note: Each conservatorship is unique, and standard statutes do not grant the authority to sell property, but exceptions can be made. If you need to sell a property, contact your attorney to make sure you have the permission to do so.
Court Approval is Required
Before you do anything, the first step is to obtain the approval of the court that oversees your conservatorship. No exchange of real estate to or from a conservatorship can be made without first obtaining the permission of the court via a court order.
You can file a petition to the court to sell a property, and the court will schedule a hearing to assess your situation. It’s best to contact an attorney to handle the process for you. The court will likely require several pieces of information from you at the hearing:
- Any information regarding the property.
- Valid reasons for selling the property. The court will want to hear why it’s in the best interest of the protected person to sell the property.
After the hearing, the court will make a decision on whether you can list the property for sale.
Appraisals and Insurance
The next step in the process is obtaining an appraisal for the home. It’s also not uncommon for multiple appraisals to be required. In many states, the courts will require at least two appraisals from disinterested parties (not the selling real estate agent, etc.). The purchase agreement you sign for the home is generally not allowed to be less than the appraisal on the home. This is for the protection of the person who owns the property.
It may also be required for you to obtain insurance on the home, which is something that every conservator should have on any properties owned by their protected person, even if the property is not being lived in. Vacant property insurance is something that is offered, so contact surety and insurance provider like The Patrick J. Thomas Agency to ask about this type of coverage.
Notify the Court Before Selling
You will be free to use a real estate agent of your choice to sell the home, but before the purchase agreement is signed, you will be required to notify the court and provide them with a copy of the agreement. The sale cannot be made until the court signs off on the purchase order.
Other Options for Real Estate
If the reason to sell the property is to pay for essential bills for the protected person, there are other options you can consider for the property. These can include renting or leasing the property, both of which also will require approval from the court to undertake.
Disclaimer: this is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you need legal counsel, please contact an attorney directly.