Property Issues

Selling or disposing of any of the protected person's property requires court approval first.  Read this section to find out how to get court permission to sell the protected person's property, and what to do if someone has wrongly disposed of their property without court permission.  

How to sell a Protected Persons's house or land
How to sell any other property
How to have property returned that was wrongfully taken

Request to Sell Real Property (Land/Houses)

Court approval is always needed to sell the protected person's home or land.  The basic steps involved in selling the real property are:

  1. File paperwork to get court permission to list the property for sale. A guardian must get the judge's permission before trying to sell any land or real property.  The forms and instructions to do so are in the Part 1 packet below. The guardian must notify the protected person, their attorney, and their relatives of his intent to sell the property, and must appear at a hearing so the judge can approve or deny the request.  
  2. Notify the public of the sale. If the judge authorizes the guardian to list the property for sale, the guardian must advertise the property for sale.  The judge will determine how the sale should be advertised - it can be through a listing service, a public posting, publication in the newspaper, or in some instances, it can be waived.  Part 2 below gives more information. 
  3. File paperwork asking the court to approve an offer. When an offer comes in that the guardian wants to accept, the guardian must file additional paperwork with the court asking the judge to approve the offer.  Part 3 below includes all the forms and instructions for getting the court's approval.

    The guardian cannot accept the offer until the matter has been heard and approved by the judge.  The judge will have to determine if the sale was conducted in a fair and legal manner, and if the purchase price is fair. Others may bid on the property during the hearing, so the buyer and buyer's agent should be present to protect their interest and make a counteroffer if desired. 

To ask for permission to sell the property, download and follow all included instructions in the packets below.  Start with Part 1, and when you finish those steps move on to Part 2.  When those steps are finished, you can complete Part 3.

Part 1: Permission to List Property (pdf)

Part 2: Selling the Property (pdf)

Part 3: Approving the Proposed Sale (pdf)


Request to Sell any Other Property

The guardian should obtain court approval before selling any other property, such as a car, jewelry, personal possessions, etc.  The guardian will have to file paperwork explaining what items should be sold, and then must serve the papers on the protected person, their attorney, and their relatives.  The judge will hold a hearing and decide whether to allow the sale.

Although the Self-Help Center does not have specific forms to make this request, a guardian can use the "generic" petition forms to make the request.  The generic forms do not include any specific information, but instead allow the person using the form to explain what is being requested and why.  Please download the following packet and follow all of the included instructions.

Generic Petition Packet (pdf)


Request to Recover Property

If someone wrongfully concealed, sold, or disposed of the protected person's property, anyone can file a petition with the court asking that the property be returned.  If the judge finds the property was wrongfully disposed of, the judge can order that the property be returned or can order the person to pay twice the value of the asset to the estate.  

Anyone can file paperwork with the court describing the property that was taken, who took the property, and the value of the property.  The person will have to set a court date and serve the person who allegedly took the property, the guardians, the protected person, their attorney, and their relatives who were entitled to notice of the guardianship case.  Anyone interested in the matter can go to the hearing to explain what happened to the property.

To ask the court for assistance in recovering the protected persons's property, please download the packet below and follow all of the included instructions. Remember to serve the person you believe took the property, the guardians,  the protected person, their attorney, and their relatives with a copy of your paperwork after filing. All of the forms needed for before and after the hearing are included in the packet.

Petition to Recover Property (pdf)