How do I sell mom's house now that dad has died?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I have power of attorney over my parent's affairs. My daddy is dead and my mother is in nursing home and can not take of herself, need to sell her home which is still in my daddy's name. How will I go about this process?

Expert Answer

Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City and KRLA in Los Angeles. He is a practicing lawyer specializing in estate planning and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He's a public speaker and commentator who has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country, and he's the legal editor of Talkers magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. His latest book is The Truth About Avoiding Scams.

Even if you have a Durable Power of Attorney for each of your parents individually, these documents will not help you in regard to selling the home. As you indicated, the title to the home is still in your late father's name. The Durable Power of Attorney that you had for your father automatically became invalid upon his death. You will need to have your father's estate probated. The executor (the person in charge of the estate if there is a Will) or the administrator (there person in charge of the estate if there was no Will) will be able to get the authority through the Will or a court order to sell the property. Assuming that your mother was the beneficiary of your father's estate, you will then be able to access the funds derived from the sale of the property to use for your mother's behalf through her Durable Power of Attorney.