Concerning a Quit Claim Deed, can a court appointed legal guardian sign off on this if the party has been declared incompetent and placed in a nursing

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Concerning a Quit Claim Deed, can a court appointed legal guardian sign off on this if the party has been declared incompetent and placed in a nursing

My husbands mother had a Quit Claim Deed drawn up many years ago to gift her house to him, with the stipulation that she “reserves to herself a life estate in the above-described real estate for her own life.” Four years ago she was declared incompetent and placed in a nursing home with our oldest son named as guardian of her person and estate. Does this give him authority to sign off on this Quit Claim so we can sell the house, or do we have to keep it until she passes away? Your advise will be greatly appreciated. Thank You!

Asked on May 29, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

When he acts as his grandmother's guardian, your son has to act in good faith in his mother's best interests instead of his own, or yours, if there's a difference.  It's called a fiduciary obligation, and if it isn't followed, there could be serious problems for your son, and possibly for the rest of the family.

Your son, as your mother-in-law's guardian, needs to retain a qualified attorney, ideally one familiar with elder law, to advise him as to what is or isn't appropriate here. It will probably be permissible to pay that lawyer from your mother-in-law's money.  One place he can look, for the lawyer he needs, is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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