Is Signed Quit Deed Sufficient to Take Over Mentally Incompetent Grandmother’s Property?

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“In Minnesota, where she lives, my grandmother’s home was condemned. She was placed into a behavioral health hospital. I was told she could not sign paperwork to make me her power of attorney because she was being held for her mental state. She passed three mental evaluations and is now being held in an assisted living facility; although the court has not ruled her to be mentally competent yet. The land she was living on was hers. For fear the state would take it, a lawyer wrote a quit deed and she signed the property over to me. Is the property officially mine? If there is a no trespassing order, do I have to stay off of my own property? Can I remove her personal belongings (with her permission)?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Talk to the lawyer who made out the deed.  As a general matter, if someone is ruled by a court to be incompetent, that applies for all purposes, including things like deeding property.  However, there may be some exception in this case which would make the deed valid; there are way too many variables here to tell without examining the deed, the court order, and possibly some other information.

That having been said, if the property was condemned it doesn’t necessarily matter who the owner is in terms of who may enter onto it. Again, you’ll need to look at the condemnation order, or speak with the authority (city, county) who condemned it.  You may be able to enter the land, or at least get permission to get the personal property off it.

In the long run, of course, what needs to be done is to resolve your grandmother’s competency through the court, clarify the ownership of the property, and resolve whatever issue got the place condemned in the first place.



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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.