Can Personal Representative Accept Offer on House $15,000 Under Market Value?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton is joined by Attorney Matthew Underwood, of Underwood Legal, LLC in Madison, Wisconsin. Together, Attorney Burton and Underwood discuss and answer a reader's question about whether a Personal Representative for an Estate can accept an offer for a home owned by the Estate that is $15,000 less than the fair market value of the home.

Subscribe Burton Law LLC

Transcript of Video: Can Personal Representative Accept Offer on House $15,000 Under Fair Market Value?

Okay welcome back we're here on the

beach and I'm joined by my friend

attorney Matthew Underwood Matt thanks

for joining us today

thanks for having me Tom, and I saved

another difficult question for you Matt

owns and operates Underwood Legal, LLC a

boutique estate planning and elder law

firm in Madison Wisconsin and I have a

good probate question for you today Matt

that came in from a reader and the

reader writes the following can a

personal representative accept a home

offer of a will that is part of three

kids he is one of the kids the offer is

$15,000 under market value so what do

you think about that Matt? so there's a

few things going on in this question but

you know I think the first part is that

this is a fairly common situation that

we see we often see cases where parents

where mom and dad set up an estate plan

where if mom and dad both passed away

then one of the kids would take over as

the personal representative and

administer the estate so I think it's

fairly common to see that where you know

where we might have three kids but one

of them was named as that personal

representative so really that the

personal representative that is the

person who has the legal authority to

administer the estate and the personal

representative is actually appointed

by the court so they would get letters

from the court giving them authority to

handle the estate so in in the personal

representative’s authority one of the

things they can do is dispose of

property so they can sell property you

know real estate they can sell stocks

and convert that to cash so that you

know the short answer this question is

that the personal representative can

accept offers on that house they do have

that authority to do so as long as they

are appointed by the court but the you

know slight twist of this question is

can they accept

an offer that is $15,000 under the market

value yeah so market value you know

in a lot of ways valuation is more of an

art than a science so there's you could

have three appraisers take a look at a

house and you'll get three different

valuations from each person so in my

mind that when people are coming up with

the market value it's always an estimate

it's using our best judgment our best

guess but only by listing that property

on the market and starting to get some

actual offers and people interested

that's when we're really going to know

you know what are people willing to pay

for that property so I think you know

maybe that market value it's out of date

or it just doesn't reflect the actual

market conditions so it's you know I

think it's okay for the personal

representative to potentially accept an

offer that wasn't what they expected or

not fair market value but the one

cautionary tale to that is I would

highly recommend that that personal

representative talked to his siblings

and make sure that everyone's on the

same page and that siblings are okay

with with him accepting that lower offer

that'll avoid any sort of potential

disagreements down the road so I would

really encourage that open communication

with other heirs of the estate so in

I think in my mind the best way for that

personal representative to deal with

this situation is to speak with a

qualified estate planning or probate

attorney and you know that attorney is

really there to provide guidance so if

the personal representative wants to

handle you know a lot of the work of the</