Why should a probate home sale be held up because of a paperwork error by lawyer?

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Why should a probate home sale be held up because of a paperwork error by lawyer?

I have sold my home in No. CA and have to be out 3/9/18. I am seeking to
purchase a home in Morro Bay CA. However, the sale is pending because the
replacement home the sellers want to buy is in probate. The case was reviewed
on 2/13/18 and was set for approval, however, there was a paperwork error on a
form submitted by the estate lawyer. The judge has asked that the lawyer
correct the form and to resubmit it to court on 3/27/18. Both the sellers and I
now have to have our home sales held up. If the case had been approved on the
13th the sellers could have moved out and escrow could have been completed and
I could have moved in to their home on 3/8/18. Now the sellers have to cancel
their movers, and I have to have all of my furnishing put in to storage and I
have to find a place to live until the next court date on 3/27/18. Why couldn’t
the sale have been approved and just request the lawyer resubmit the corrected
form to the court? While I wasn’t involved directly in the probate sale, I am
involved indirectly and my life is being left in the balance because of this
court case. It just seems like the rights and well being of all involved should
have been considered. Thank you.

Asked on February 15, 2018 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The sale was held up because until probate is properly completed, there was no legal authority to sell the home. And if the forms were done incorrectly, probate could not be completed until they were corrected. While this was very unfortunate, it is a consequence of your sellers trying to buy a home that was in probate--if it was in probate, it again was not subject to sale at that time, and so was subject to delay if the process dragged on for any of a number of reasons. This was a foreseeable risk of the situation.


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