Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Selling Real Property In Probate


When a person dies, they often times leave real property to their beneficiaries.  So long as there are sufficient assets to pay off any creditors, the beneficiaries can choose whether to keep the property or sell it. 

If the beneficiaries choose to sell the property and the property has to go through the probate process, there are three ways to deal with selling the property:

1.       The beneficiaries can wait until the probate process is complete and the title has transferred into the beneficiaries’ name.  At that point, because the title is held by the beneficiaries, they can sell the property and sign all of the closing documents individually.  The only downside to this option is that the beneficiaries have to wait for the probate to be completed which can often take 6 months or more.
2.       The property can be sold during the probate process through a court’s confirmation of sale.  In this process, the executor or administrator of the estate signs the documents to sell the property.  Once a buyer is found, there is a court hearing to confirm the sale.  At the court hearing, the property is placed up for auction by the court and any member of the public may overbid the buyer and purchase the property.  This helps to make sure that the estate gets the highest price possible for the property.
3.       In some cases, the property may be sold during the probate process without a court confirmation hearing through the Independent Administration of Estate Act.  This act, passed in 2011, allows property to be sold where all of the beneficiaries of the estate receive notice of the sale and the price received is not less than 90% of the appraisal price.

In most cases, any of the three methods described above can be used to sell real property.  Methods two and three allow for a much quicker sale as they are done before the probate concludes.  Should you have any questions regarding the sale of real property in probate, please contact our office.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Powers of Attorney for Children Who Have Recently Attained the Age of Majority

            In recent news Aden Hailu, a 20-year-old woman and student at the University of Nevada, Reno, died on January 4, 2016. In brief, Aden admitted herself to Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada (the “hospital”), in April of 2015. Through a series of tests, it appears doctors could not initially determine the cause of Aden’s illness. Aden appeared to be normal except she was not responding to IV fluids and she had inconsistent vital signs. Doctors determined that they should perform surgery on Aden to detect the source of her illness. During surgery, Aden went into cardiac arrest and fell into a coma. From the time Aden fell into a coma until her death, Aden’s family and the hospital were engaged in a court battle to determine Aden’s proper end-of-life treatment.


            Although it is not clear to this author whether or not Aden had expressed her desires for end-of-life treatment in a Power of Attorney or otherwise, this case is a good reminder that clients should have Powers of Attorney and Directive to Physicians prepared for their children who have recently attained the age of majority. This can help foreclose the need for guardianships in cases like Aden’s and also add clarity to such child’s intent for end-of-life procedures. If you have not thought about having Powers of Attorney or Directive to Physicians prepared for your children who have recently become adults, please contact an attorney at Jeffrey Burr to assist you in that regard.