Probate Court

Sale of Property

It is often necessary in the administration of an estate for the personal representative to sell both real estate and personal property. The personal representative has the power to do so without permission or other action of the court in all probate administration, including supervised administration. The only exception to this would be where the court has restricted the ability of the personal representative to sell real estate or personal property. Such a restriction would appear upon the letters of authority.

If the personal representative's ability to sell real estate has been restricted or if an interested person is objecting to the proposed sale of real estate, the personal representative may ask the court to confirm such a sale of real estate in a formal proceeding. This may be accomplished by using Petition for Approval of Sale of Real Estate ( PC 646) and Order Approving Sale of Real Estate ( PC 647). Any petition must comply with the court rule covering such sales. MCR 5.207 controls the procedure for such a formal proceeding. This rule provides as follows:

Rule 5.207 Sale of Real Estate

  • A. Petition. Any petition to approve the sale of real estate must contain the following:
    • the terms and purpose of the sale,
    • the legal description of the property, and
    • the financial condition of the estate before the sale.
  • B. Bond. The court may require a bond before confirming a sale of real estate in an amount sufficient to protect the estate.

It would appear that pursuant to MCR 5.125 the interested persons who should receive notice of such a formal proceeding would be:

  • Personal representative, and
  • Other persons who will be affected by the adjudication (such persons among others could be estate beneficiaries whose share would be affected or unpaid creditors in an insolvent estate).

If the personal representative is restricted as to the sale of personal property or if there is a challenge by an interested person to a proposed sale of personal property, the issues regarding the sale would need to be resolved in a formal proceeding asking that the court enter an order approving the sale. The interested persons who would need to receive notice of such a formal proceeding would be the same interested persons as for a proceeding to confirm the sale of real estate.