Involving minors in real estate transactions can be a tricky business, and it’s a common enough practice that more often than not, you’ll need a title agency and a lawyer to clear the title. In our real-world example this week, we’ll show how you can do both in one place.
Minor Real Estate Issue
As property or interest in property can be inherited by the children of the prior owner, naturally there will be the occasional case involving one or more minors. We encountered one such case, wherein the previous owner had passed with no will, and his property passed to his children, one of whom was a minor, and the minor’s mother. After some time, the family decided to pass the home to an aging relation that had been paying the mortgage on the home.
A property interest can be passed from one family member to another through a quitclaim deed, and in the case of the two adult children and the mother, it would have been a simple enough request. But the minor involved couldn’t legally sign to grant their interest to the grantee. Under Arkansas law, persons under 18 years of age are minors and do not have the legal capacity to enter into contracts or convey real estate by deed. One way to get around this minor problem is to ask a court to appoint a guardian. And when you’re disposing of real estate in which a minor is the owner or a co-owner, a court must appoint and authorize a guardian to sign the contracts and deeds necessary to dispose of the minor’s interest. A typical title agency in Arkansas would have sent the family to speak to an attorney, who would then advise the minor to go to court to ask that the mother be appointed guardian.
The Quick, Affordable Solution
Since Attorney’s Title Group is an attorney-run title agency, we were able to resolve the case in-house, which made the transaction faster and more affordable for the family. Our parent company, Wilson & Associates successfully represented the minor and the mother in court. A guardianship was established for the narrow purpose of selling the real estate.
If you have a tricky real estate transaction, remember Attorney’s Title Group!