Maybe – it depends upon the precise language of the contract. Most standard real estate contracts contain the following provision: “Settlement to be on or before ______________ (‘Settlement Date’).” So the question becomes whether this requires settlement on or before the settlement date. Or, stated differently: “Am I in breach of the contract if I do not close by the settlement date?”
My last blog post focused on how title to real estate passes after death of the property owner. This post will focus on the power to sell real estate after death. The main issue related to the sale of the decedent’s real estate is whether the Executor of the estate possesses the power to sell or the authority to sell. The source of the power will typically be either express or implied.
The transfer of real estate at death can be a confusing and frustrating process. Often times the heirs and beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate are left with numerous questions: How does the real estate pass to heirs or beneficiaries? Is the real estate an asset of the estate? Is the mortgage a debt of the estate? How do I acquire title to the real estate? Who can sell the real estate? When and how can I sell the real estate?
Last week we received a call from one of our clients whose father had died recently. When she came into the office and provided the Will for our review, I was surprised to see that it was over 30 years old and had been prepared prior to her father's second marriage. Needless to say, things had changed and the cost of probate and litigation between children from different relationships will substantially reduce the size of the estate ultimately distributed to the beneficiaries.