Dallas, TX asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Probate and Elder Law for Texas

Q: I’m the POA and guardian of my grandfather and his estate. He sold it a month before death for 10 dollars. Is it legal?

I have been the POA and guardian for nearly 10 years. Right before his death other family members blocked my phone calls to him. I was not notified of his death and a month afterwards I found his obituary. When I went to the county records office I was notified he had sold his property a month before death for 10 dollars. I’m not sure he was sound mind or even legally allowed to sale it. Is there anything I can do to dispute this?

1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: If you have been the guardian of your grandfather and his estate for that long, the court that appointed you 10 years ago must have determined that your grandfather was incapacitated and that a guardianship is necessary. Your grandfather's incapacity probably provides a valid basis to set aside the sale. (Being the POA is largely irrelevant).

You should consult whatever attorney has been helping you with the court filings associated with the guardianship. You will most likely want to close the guardianship estate now that he is dead. You should also report what happened to the surety on your guardian's bond in case your grandfather's heirs pursue a claim against you.

Since your grandfather is deceased, it is now incumbent on the personal representative of your grandfather's estate to sue to set aside the purported sale which occurred a month before his death. If your grandfather died without a will, you probably should file an application to probate your grandfather's estate and ask to be appointed independent administrator of his estate so you can pursue setting aside the sale yourself. Otherwise, you may wish to confer with the personal representative of your grandfather's estate and report to the court what has happened so that the sale can be set aside and you can minimize any legal liability you may have as the guardian of your grandfather and his estate.

I strongly urge you to seek a competent lawyer with experience in real estate litigation, fiduciary litigation, and probate litigation in or near the county where your grandfather was living at the time of his death. the attorney who has been helping you with the guardianship may or may not have such experience. Hopefully, the court with the guardianship proceedings is in the same county as that would streamline the litigation.

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