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Monday, July 10, 2017

Can the guardian of an adult sell the adult's property after she has passed away?

Recently I received this question from a reader about the powers of an adult guardian. I'm often surprised at how unclear people really are about what authority they have or don't have under legal documents. In this case, I'm glad someone is asking a question! Here's the question and my comments:

"Can my father who was the legal guardian of his mother (passed away from Alzheimer's) sell her property?"

The short answer is "no".

An adult guardianship comes to an end when the dependent adult (in this case, your grandmother) dies. End of story. Your father cannot sell  her property without committing fraud.

While your grandmother was alive, your father might have  had the power to sell her property, depending on exactly what role he was given. In some provinces, a guardian is granted the power to make decisions about both personal and financial matters. In other provinces a legal guardianship is separate from a trusteeship and does not give anyone authority to deal with property.

Only an executor or court-appointed estate administrator can sell the property of a deceased person. Whoever is the executor for your grandmother needs to step up and take control of the situation. If there was no will and therefore no executor, then someone needs to ask the court to appoint them as administrator.

P.S. Please don't add questions on the posts that have warnings in red that the comments section is full. Because they are full...

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