CHAPTER 9
 

PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING
REAL eSTATE

 

 
 
 
 
The Orphans’ Court has jurisdiction over real estate of decedents, minors, incapacitated persons and that in trusts subject to its authority. See PEF Code §711.

Legal title to all real estate of a decedent passes at death to the heirs or devisees, subject, however, to all the powers granted to the personal representative by the PEF Code and by the will, and to all orders of the Court. See PEF Code §301(b).

Legal title to the real estate of an incapacitated person or a minor remains in the ward subject to all powers granted to the guardian by the PEF Code or by a governing instrument, and to all orders of the Court. See PEF Code §§302 and 303.

PEF Code §3311 sets forth the rights and duties of the personal representative of a decedent as to possession of real and personal property. PEF Code §3312 describes how the personal representative may renounce the right to administer real property. The personal representative has the right and duty to possess and manage real estate, unless an heir or devisee of the decedent occupies it at the decedent’s death. Such occupancy does not defeat the personal representative’s right to sell the property, although a specific devisee must join in any deed.

PEF Code §5141 sets forth the rights and duties of the guardian of the estate of a minor as to possession of real and personal property. PEF Code §5521(b) incorporates the provisions of §5141 as to the guardian of the estate of an incapacitated person. See PEF Code §7141 as to a trustee’s rights and duties.

To avoid serious title problems, the practitioner must follow precisely all applicable statutes and rules. Those governing trustees and guardians in real property matters by and large parallel those for personal representatives but are not necessarily identical.1
 
 
1 Compare the relevant sections of chapters 33 (decedents), 51 (minors), 55 (incapacitated persons), and 71 (trustees). This text is oriented mainly to decedent’s estates; the practitioner should anticipate possible differences in similar sections on other matters.
 

 


 
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