It is not uncommon for minors to become owners of real property via inheritance or as distributees under a will in Texas. Minors (persons 18 years or younger) are generally considered incapacitated persons without the right to contract and cannot effectively sign a deed conveying title to real estate. This issue presents a problem for minors that may need to sell real estate before turning 18 so that funds may used for the minor’s benefit.
Fortunately, Section 1351.001 of the Texas Estates Code provides a process where a parent may apply with a court for sale of a minor’s interest that does not exceed $100,000 in real or personal property. The court will have a hearing after an application is filed, and if the court is satisfied that the sale is in the minor’s best interest, the court will order the sale. Tex. Est. Code Ann. § 1351.003 (West). The proceeds from the sale will then be paid into the registry of the court, and the proceeds may be withdrawn under Chapter 1355 of the Estates Code. Tex. Est. Code Ann. § 1351.004 and 1351.005 (West).
To withdraw the money from the court registry on behalf of a minor living in Texas, a parent may apply to be a custodian, must post bond, and must use the money for the minor’s benefit under court direction. Tex. Est. Code Ann. § 1355.
Applications to sell property on behalf of a minor and to withdraw funds from the court registry can be a complex processes in Texas. It is recommended that you consult an experienced probate attorney if you are considering a sale of property owned by a minor.
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