This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In re Conservatorship of
Evalyn K. Klawitter.
Filed January 13, 2004
Blue Earth County District Court
File No. P8-98-1021
Suzette E. Johnson, Johnson & Anderson, LLC, P.O. Box 637, Mankato, MN 56002-0637 (for appellant Kaye Allen)
Robert H. Chesley, Chesley, Kroon, Chambers & Harvey, PLLP, 75 Teton Lane, P.O. Box 327, Mankato, MN 56002 (for respondent Habilitative Services, Inc.)
Christopher Eric Sandquist, Gislason & Hunter, LLP, 424 North Riverfront Drive, P.O. Box 4157, Mankato, MN 56002 (for respondent Jill Peterson)
Mark Allen Lindahl, Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney, 410 South Fifth Street, P.O. Box 3129, Mankato, MN 56002 (for respondent Blue Earth County)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge; Willis, Judge; and Anderson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
On appeal from the denial of a motion for a new trial or amended findings of fact and an amended order, appellant argues that the district court erred by finding that (1) the sale of the conservatee’s house would improve the conservatee’s quality of life and was in her best interests, (2) the conservator did not breach its duty to preserve the conservatee’s estate, and (3) the sale of the conservatee’s house was not contrary to law and against public policy. Because we conclude that the district court did not err, we affirm.
Evalyn Klawitter, the conservatee, is a 93-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. She has had a conservator of her estate since 1998 and a conservator of her person since July 2000. In July 2002, the district court appointed Habilitative Services, Inc. as the conservator of Klawitter’s estate and person. Habilitative Services then moved Klawitter from her house into the nursing home where she currently resides. While Klawitter still owns the house, it is undisputed that she will not be able to live there again and will continue to live in the nursing home because of her medical condition. Appellant Kay Allen, Klawitter’s daughter, has lived in Klawitter’s house since 1993.
Klawitter has less than $3,000 in liquid assets and pays for her nursing-home costs with medical assistance. Her only remaining assets are her house, which has a fair market value of $75,200, and her automobile, which has a fair market value of $2,630.
In December 2002, the conservator petitioned the district court for authority to sell Klawitter’s house, arguing that Klawitter had exhausted her other property and that liquidating her assets was in her best interests. Allen, who wishes to remain living in Klawitter’s house, opposed the conservator’s petition. In January 2003, the district court granted the petition, and Allen moved for a new trial or amended findings of fact and an amended order. In March 2003, the district court denied Allen’s motion, and she now appeals.
D E C I S I O N
In January 2003, the district court granted the conservator’s petition to sell Klawitter’s house, finding that
Ms. Klawitter’s assets should be utilized to fund care for her personally, not for members of her family. Ms. Klawitter’s care must take precedent over the needs of others. Absent extreme circumstances, it is inappropriate to allow Ms. Klawitter to receive reduced care or to compel the taxpayers to pay for her care when there are assets available to her Conservator.
In March 2003, the district court denied Allen’s motion for a new trial or amended findings of fact and an amended order, finding that it was clear that “converting the house to cash will benefit [Klawitter].” Allen contends that the district court erroneously found that the sale of the house would benefit Klawitter and was in her best interests.
A district court’s decision to deny a new-trial motion is within its sound discretion and will not be disturbed on appeal absent a clear abuse of that discretion. Myers v. Hearth Techs., Inc., 621 N.W.2d 787, 790 (Minn. App. 2001), review denied (Minn. Mar. 13, 2001). The district court’s findings of fact will not be set aside on appeal unless they are clearly erroneous. Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01. And whether the sale of the homestead is proper is a fact question subject to the discretion of the district court. In re Guardianship of Fingerholtz,357 N.W.2d 423, 428 (Minn. App. 1984), review denied (Minn. Feb. 6, 1985).
Allen argues that the sale of Klawitter’s house was not in Klawitter’s best interests because having additional funds will not improve her quality of life. In support of this argument, Allen submitted an affidavit from the supervisory nurse at Klawitter’s nursing home, in which the nurse opined that Klawitter, who currently shares a room with another resident, would probably not benefit from or appreciate having a private room or her own telephone. The nurse further stated that Klawitter, whose care is funded by government medical assistance, receives the same standard of care as a private-pay patient.
The conservator argues that the district court did not abuse its discretion in ordering the sale of Klawitter’s real estate because her personal property is insufficient to pay for her support. In its petition to the court asking for authority to sell Klawitter’s real estate, the conservator states that it
understands that Medical Assistance pays for goods and services that are medically necessary. Conservator believes things will come up that will enhance Conservatee’s life but are not covered by Medical Assistance. Conservator needs money to pay for such things and, without selling these assets, there is no source of funds with which to do so.
The conservator further states that “[t]here are two reasons why the court should grant this petition. First, Conservatee’s property is insufficient to provide for her support and maintenance. Second, selling her property is in her best interests as she will then be able to enjoy things not currently available to her.” Unless Klawitter’s house is sold, the conservator argues that it will not have funds to pay for items not covered by medical assistance, such as a private room, nonmedically related transportation, companionship services, clothing, and certain types of circulation aids.
The record does not indicate that Klawitter currently has any expenses that are not being met by medical assistance. But because the conservator has stated that additional funds could be used to improve Klawitter’s quality of life and because the district court has discretion to determine when the sale of a conservatee’s house is proper, the district court did not clearly err by finding that the sale of the house will benefit Klawitter. See Minn. Stat. § 524.5-418(a) (Supp. 2003) (stating court may direct sale of real estate when personal property is insufficient to provide for conservatee’s support and maintenance and when sale is in best interests of conservatee).
In essence, [Allen] wants the conservator to maintain the house for [Allen’s] benefit. The one and only duty of the conservator is to provide for the best interests of the conservatee. Regardless of the [medical assistance] exemption on the house, it is clear that converting the house to cash will benefit the conservatee.
 Minn. Stat. § 525.63 was in effect at the time of the district court decision. Effective August 1, 2003, the Minnesota legislature repealed Minn. Stat. § 525.63 and replaced it with Minn. Stat. § 524.5-418, which was enacted as part of the Uniform Probate Code. 2003 Minn. Laws ch. 12, art. 2, § 9(a), provides that new articles 1 and 2 apply to any conservatorship proceeding pending in court on the effective date of the new law, unless the court finds that for good cause and in the interests of judicial economy, the proceeding should be completed under the repealed statute. Here, the new statute applies because the changes from the repealed statute that appear in Minn. Stat. § 524.5-418 are cosmetic only and there is no good cause to apply the repealed statute.
 In her brief, Allen cites Minn. Stat. § 525.56, subd. 4(1) (2002). In 2003, the Minnesota legislature repealed Minn. Stat. § 525.56 and replaced it with Minn. Stat. § 524.5-417, which was enacted as part of the Uniform Probate Code. Because the provisions of Minn. Stat. § 525.56, subd. 4(1) and Minn. Stat. § 524.5-417(c)(1) are materially similar, there is no good cause to apply the repealed statute.