Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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There is nothing in the law that says she gets "first dibs" on any property in the estate. However, there is also nothing that says she must notify the heirs before selling it for the appraised value.
If you want the property then the safest way to go about it would be to hire a lawyer and enter an appearance in the case and ask the judge to require that heirs be notified before it is sold to anyone, including the executor or another heir.
What can end up happening is that it can go for more than appraised value since there is no way to resolve what happens when more than one person wants a property other than it going to the one who is willing to pay the most.
What if she buys the property before I can do all that? She has already sold some cars and another piece of property without us (heirs) knowing that the estate had been opened. Thank you.
You could ask the court to reverse the sale. You should go ahead and send her a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, telling her that you are interested in the property and are willing to "bid" against anyone else wishing to buy it so that the estate received the highest value for it.
Be sure and cc: the court on that letter along with a cover letter asking the clerk to place it in the file.
The heirs should have been notified when the estate was opened and allowed an opportunity to enter an appearance unless you signed a waiver.
Great. Thank you for your help.
You're very welcome.
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