My mom passed on March 28th, 2012. I am the oldest of three daughters. The will states that I have first option to purchase the family home. (I was living in the home with my mom, taking care of her during her illness, when she passed.) The estate attorney keeps pressuring me to make a decision on whether or not I am going to keep the home. How long do I have to make up my mind? My sisters aren't pressuring me.
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Good afternoon. This is not the lawyer's call to pressure you. If the will does not give a specific time frame, then a "reasonable time" is going to be presumed. A reasonable time is going to be the time that it would take a reasonable person to make a decision and the apply and qualify for the loan. Typically this would be anywhere from 90 to 180 days, but if the other beneficiaries are willing to grant a longer time, you would be entitled to that.
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The house is already paid off and I wouldn't need to obtain a loan. I don't understand why the attorney has asked me at least 3 times what I'm going to do with the house, unless it has some bearing on the distribution to the grandchildren's portion of the inheritence. There are also 2 commercial properties as part of the estate. In your opinion, would it be a wise decision to get at least 3 certified appraisals on the home?
I understand...I'm just stating how a court would judge what a reasonable period of time would be to make a decision whether to buy. If there is no agreement on price between you and your sisters, then there are a number of ways to determine appraisals without necessarily paying for 3. You could agree on one appraisal with the ability for any party not happy with an appraiser to then be able to appoint another appraiser and if the appraisers were more than some percentage apart, you could let them or the court appoint a third appraiser. Or, the three of you can simply agree on a price and save the appraisal costs. The lawyer is only a facilitator...these are not his decisions to mandate.
Does it perhaps have anything to do with the grandchildren's portion of the inheritance?
It could be if the attorney is their guardian. But, one third party appraisal could set the valuation. But, either way, the beneficiaries will either get their inheritance in the form of a property interest or money from the sale. But, since it's been approximately 4 months since the death, you will be expected to make a decision soon. If not, the administrator could petition the court to intervene so the estate can be timely administered.
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