Sole discretion

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Sole discretion

My mother’s names me as her executor. It reads that her house should be sold
at fair market value in my sole discretion and the proceeds equally divided
among myself and my children. What does that mean exactly? Can the home
remain in the family?

Asked on September 23, 2019 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If the will directs that the home must or shall be sold--i.e. uses imperative or mandatory language--it must be sold. But if you have sole discretion over what is fair market value, you can determine what you belive the fair market value is (your determination must have some support, however, since it is "fair market value"--i.e. you have to reference the market, such as comps) and can within reasonable parameters set the price without input from any heirs or beneficiaries or other persons.


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