woman with dementia

My Mom Has Dementia But Her Name Is Still on the Property Deed. How Can I Transfer the Deed Over to Me?

When dealing with a complex problem like the one this question raises, it is essential to have a trustworthy elder law attorney at your side. In Southeastern Massachusetts, contacting one of  the skilled, compassionate elder law attorneys at Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. will provide you with the excellent the legal counsel you need and the moral support you deserve.

As if the emotional challenges of dealing with a parent’s dementia weren’t enough, adult children in this situation must face many legal and logistical problems. One common and significant one is what happens when mom or dad’s home has to be sold to pay for their care.

Financial decisions regarding selling the family home, often the same home the children grew up in, are stressful to begin with. They can loom larger when the parent who owns the house is unable to think clearly or make rational choices. This blog is designed to help you understand your options if you’re caught in these troubling circumstances.

Dealing With the Legal Aspects of Selling Your Mom’s Home

The first step to take is to consult with a skilled elder law attorney who has extensive experience handling situations like yours that involve incapacity and asset transfer. At Surprenant & Beneski, we will listen attentively to the details of your case and discuss your best course of action. The next steps will be much easier with the guidance of our professionals.

  • Have Your Mom’s Medical Condition Evaluated by a psychiatrist/neurologist so that the family can have clarity about whether she is legally competent to sign documents. The earlier you have a well-credentialed doctor in the picture, the better it will be for all concerned.
  • Establish Power of Attorney or Conservatorship. If it is confirmed that your mom is no longer capable of making legally binding decisions, you will have to establish legal authority to act on her behalf. This usually involves getting a durable power of attorney or setting up a conservatorship. While a power of attorney may be signed by the principal in the presence of two witnesses, a conservatorship will require court involvement.
  • Execute the Transfer. Once you have the legal authority, you can proceed with transferring the deed. Our lawyer will draft a new deed for the property and have it recorded with the appropriate governmental offices in compliance with all government regulations. Once you own the home, you will be authorized to sell it.

Dealing With the Emotional Aspects of Selling Your Mom’s Home

Selling the family home may be an emotional occurrence not only for you and your parent but for other members of the family. Our elder law attorneys handle such complications often and are well-prepared to smooth the way. We recommend that you:

Openly Talk With All Concerned Family Members

Frequently, lack of direct communication is what precipitates tension among relatives, so simply letting siblings, aunts and uncles, and grandchildren know what’s going on is invaluable in preserving family harmony. Making sure everyone is on the same page will avoid misunderstandings or conflicts later on.

Make Sure To Treat Your Mom With Respect

Though suffering from dementia, your mom has the right to be treated with respect and to be reassured that she will be taken care of and continue to be loved. Involve her in the decision-making process to the degree possible.

Don’t Forget To Care for Yourself

Dealing with a mother who has dementia is never easy. The physical, emotional, and financial toll can be overwhelming. Recognize that you need physical, emotional, and practical support every day, and don’t hesitate to seek help from family members, friends, and professional therapists.

Contact Our Knowledgeable Elder Law Attorneys Today

Situations like the one discussed here have to be dealt with carefully and thoughtfully. You can count on our attorneys to be sensitive and understanding as well as highly competent. Contact us now so we can help you negotiate this difficult period with as little stress as possible.