Folsom, CA asked in Probate for Maryland

Q: My mother passed away early this year. Her primary asset is her home which has a reverse mortgage.

My mother’s will specifies my sibling gets the house if he secures a loan to satisfy the reverse mortgage loan within 90 days of her passing. The will goes on to say that if my sibling sells, or is unable to maintain the house for a three year period the house is to be sold and the proceeds split with me. Does the 90 days start from her date of death or after the estate has been opened?

If by chance he secures a loan to pay off the reverse mortgage, is there a way I can be added to the deed to make sure I am properly paid if he does not keep house for 3 years as stated in my moms will?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The answer is in the document you cite, and the words in that document matter. You say it says "within 90 days of [her] passing" in the Will. Does it? What you need is counsel to review the Will and file a claim at the appropriate time.

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: A lawyer would have to read the actual will provision to be sure, but the 90 days would ordinarily commence on the date of death. No, you cannot get your name added to the deed if that is not provided for in the will, and the nature of the will disposition by placing a condition like that on the bequest of the property may raise questions about whether such a will provision can be enforced. You will have to take the will to a lawyer to review. If the house is not refinanced then the estate will have to sell the property. Most reverse mortgages have a clause requiring repayment within 6 months, meaning the house will need to be placed on the market and sold or the mortgage holder may commence foreclosure proceedings (although the cost and time for pursuing foreclosure is so high that consuming that most reverse mortgage lenders will wait out the estate process well beyond the 6 month deadline so long as they know efforts are being made to market and sell the property).

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