Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesdays with Elders - Petition to Sell

The last hurdle after settling the Elders in the nursing home was the sale of their house. Medicaid wanted the money, and I had nine months to sell the house.

It should have been easy. As Dad's attorney in fact, I had the authority to sell his half interest in the house. However, being my mother's conservator didn't give me permission to act as her agent to sell property. That involved another trip to court for Permission to Sell.

I didn't quite understand what was involved. While I puttered and dragged my feet cleaning out the house, I was expecting my attorney to tell me, they received the Permission to Sell paper. I learned the Court would only grant me permission when I had a buyer in hand. My bad. The problem it caused was with Medicaid. They wanted their money, and the threat was Dad would be dropped from Medicaid and would have to make private pay payments (at $379/day) to the nursing home.

I hired a cleaning company to come in and spruce up the little house. The house was some 65 years old and since my parents left became a Fall of the House of Usher. A friend is a real estate agent, and he and the lawyers took care of finding a suitable buyer who would buy the house "as is". What the house lacked in move in conditions, it's location was its greatest asset. The house had barely been listed when the real estate agent received two dozen offers. I accepted a cash offer. There were a few glitches with the closing, but in the end everyone was happy.

One side note. One of the things that took me so long to get the house sold was looking for a document called The Discharge of Mortgage. This is the paper you receive from the bank when you have finished all your mortgage payments and the house officially becomes yours. The Discharge of Mortgage must be filed with the Registry of Deeds and provides clear title to the property. For some reason, Dad had never filed the document.

The Real Estate Agent had told me the house could be sold without the Discharge of Mortgage, but it would be a lot easier if we had the document in hand. Eventually, I found the paper. Picture me shouting "I've got the papers. I've got the papers.", like Mortimer from Arsenic and Old Lace. And while at the Probate Court being appointed permanent guardian/conservator, we were able to file the Discharge of Mortgage. The Registry of Deeds for Middlesex county is located on the second floor of the court house. One trip, two stones.


  1. What a relief all that is dealt with. Must have been a nightmare to get through all that red tape.

  2. I get tired just reading about it! Glad it's all ironed out. :)