An “estate” is simply the property belonging either to a deceased person, or to a living person under guardianship. The estate is administered upon by a fiduciary, i.e. a personal representative, executor, administrator, guardian, etc…
It is up to the fiduciary to do what is in the best interests of the estate. I would think that a guardian over this lady would want to get rid of an abandoned home, which is of no use to the estate and costs money to hold onto. Perhaps she doesn’t own it though. Maybe it’s still tied up in her deceased husband’s estate. Who knows? You need a lot more info, and probably the assistance of a lawyer.
An elderly lady was admitted to a nursing home leaving her home abandoned. I talked to her son about buying the property, but he told me that he couldn’t sell it because it was in estate.I didn’t question further because I didn’t know what that meant. Can someone tell me what this means?
First you need to find out all of the parties on the title to the property. Is the property ‘free and clear’?
(From here, the laws/procedure varies from state to state, so Irwin’s recommendation of a competent attorney would be a good use of money).
Having said that, the disposal of the property can be tricky for the guardian. If the lady is getting Medicaid or other low/no income assistance from a government agency to pay for her nursing home care, the sale of a property and the proceeds could trigger her to be ineligible for assistance from that agency. TRANSLATION: THE NURSING HOME GETS ALL OF HER CASH UNTIL IT RUNS OUT, at which point she would become eligible for assistance again. Stinks for the lady. Great for the nursing home, because the private pay rate is far higher than they accept from the state(Medicaid/welfare). Now, there are usually limits as to the amount of assets the person may have (here it is $2,000) in cash, etc. at any one time. You can find out the rules by contacting the state’s nursing home division where she resides. Then you will have your guns loaded when you talk to the guardian or trustee.
You can find some real bargains this way, it just takes patience and digging.
This is probably state-specific, but you can probably find something out at the courthouse.
In my county, there is a lawyer who is appointed guardian of persons committed to nursing homes by social services. If the committed person owns property, the guardian determines if a sale is in the best interests of the owner. This is the usual determination if the owner is unlikely to return from the institution. The sale can be either private (through a Realtor, usually) or public (a bargain opportunity!).
A public sale is handled by the court. If the son tells you the guardian’s name (probably a lawyer), you could probably search the court records to find the record of the action to dispose of property. If the lawyer/guardian is county-appointed, you might find that he has a number of properties to dispose of- a number of opportunities for you!