Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California

Q: The Trustee of the Trust has dementia, so her son is the Executor and has Power of Attorney

The Trustee of the Trust has dementia, so her son is the Executor and has Power of Attorney. To do a self-closing transaction for the purchase of the vacant land lot, should I prepare documents where she is a Grantor and he just signing documents for her as an Executor?

Or there should be something more complicated involved?

1 Lawyer Answer
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Mateo, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If the vacant lot is titled in the name of the trust, there is a very specific process that must be followed that complies with the terms of the trust with respect to incapacity of the trustee. If the vacant lot is in the name of the individual trustee who is now incapacitated, then the son will sign as agent under the Power of Attorney. That POA document must provide specifically that the son has the authority to engage in real estate transactions. That POA must also be recorded along with the deed transferring the property.

I would not recommend you try to do this yourself without the assistance of an attorney. Whenever you are dealing with real property, the paperwork must be perfect. If it is not, you will have problems transferring good title. In other words, you create a more expensive mess to fix than if you had just hired an attorney to do it correctly in the first place.

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