Sunday, March 15, 2009


One of the things I do is “fix” property, that is to say, I put my clients in a position to have marketable title. Often one of the issues with a marketable title is the competency of the Seller. One of the fixes I deal with is incompetence. As an example I have clients whose parents are older and have periods of not being lucid and are generally considered incompetent.

Know this, it doesn’t matter what you think, your brother thinks and to a degree, what your parent’s doctor thinks. The only person who can declare your parent incompetent is a judge. Period. Meaning it takes a legal proceeding where medial testimony is heard to declare someone incompetent.

Having assisted numerous clients with this, also know that the standard is fairly high to have someone declared incompetent. As an example, your parent may be reasonably aware in the mornings and become disorientated in the evenings; that’s not incompetence. It’s the judge’s opinion, but as I said, experience tells me your parent will need to not be lucid for several days at a time (say 3-5) and have a doctor that is willing to testify to such.

This often puts the child/client in a difficult spot because often what is best for their parent is to sell property, often their home, to satisfy medical bills. There are several ways to accomplish this but know that as far a real estate transactions are concerned, we’re looking for the legal definition of incompetence, not the piratical one.

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