Selling a Home with a Public Guardian in Trust (PGT)
I recently sold a home which was under Public Guardian in Trust, this means that the PGT as a corporation had taken over the legal proceedings of the home in order to protect the interests of the home owner who may not be capable due to mental health issues or other medical concerns. According to the BC Legislation, “The Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) is a corporation sole established under the Public Guardian and Trustee Act with a unique statutory role to protect the interests of British Columbians who lack legal capacity to protect their own interests.” PGT’s may act in cases where an owner may have died unexpectedly without a will or an inheritor to their estate. In some cases, a PGT may act to protect the property of a minor who may have property in trust. In cases where the individual is unable to manage their financial and medical concerns, the PGT may opt to become a committee with trusted adults engaging in varying aspects of the adults’ life. These individuals are often a trusted friend or close family member; however, they may be a court ordered committee, professional PGT or a credit union should no such individual be available.
The mandate of the PGT is to:
- Protect the legal and financial interests of children under the age of 19 years;
- Protect the legal, financial, personal and health care interests of adults who require assistance in decision making; and
- Administer estates of deceased persons and missing persons.
PGT’s are capable of making decisions pertaining to maintaining, buying and selling real estate, Securing assets, Applying for benefits, Receiving income, Paying bills, Managing investments, Preparing tax returns and appropriately providing for legal dependents. They are not able to make personal decisions such as voting, adoption or divorce.
In my experience of real estate, selling to a PGT was not unlike selling through the home owner. While the PGT will attempt to maintain the property, should it be evident that the property will no longer be used, or that the individual can’t afford the property, it will be sold. If possible the client and close relatives will be consulted and upon approval the property will be appraised to ensure the best price is obtained. Working with the agreed upon price, the procedure for selling the home will be much the same as in a regular situation. PGT may need to give approval for any price decreases to ensure the property is selling for fair market value.
For more information on Public Guardian and Trustee visit www.trustee.bc.ca