Guardianship: Underwriting Guidelines

When insuring any transaction where a guardian of a minor or incompetent is mortgaging or conveying property, the commitment must contain the following requirement:


“Certified Copy of 1) Petition and Order Appointing ____, Guardian; and 2) Specific Court Order authorizing the (sale/mortgage/lease/etc.) of the real property described herein must be obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction and filed in the appropriate county records.”


The Certified Petition and Order must contain the following: 


1.  Reasons for the sale/mortgage/lease 

2.  Adequate legal description of the property 

3.  Price and terms of sale/mortgage/lease 

4.  Whether the sale is private or public 

5.  Subsequent terms and conditions of the court order approving said sale/mortgage/lease. Unless this requirement is met to the satisfaction of the title agent, exception to the matter must be made in the title policy. 


In UPC states, the appointed official for dealing with the property of a minor or incompetent is termed “conservator”. In those states a guardian is usually appointed only to care for the person of a ward and does not have the statutory authority to take any actions affecting the property of the ward. Under the UPC, a conservator is appointed by a court which issues “Letter of Conservator ship”. When issued, the Letters authorize the conservator to take all actions concerning the property of the ward without further court order or approval. To show the authority of the conservator to act, the Letters should be recorded in the land records of the county where the property is located.


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