A: It does not appear you have any interest to sell. Your mother indicating she wants to do something in the future, even if committed to a binding will, does not give you any legal or equitable right to the property.
There are certain things you could do during her lifetime, such as creating a life estate with a remainder interest to you and your sister, but not without your mother's involvement.
A: To be enforceable a promise to do something must be supported by a corresponding promise by the other party (e.g. I promise to do A if you promise to do B)--this is often referred to as consideration. So it is unclear whether the promise to pay an amount of money to your wife's mother is enforceable by the mother because it is unclear why the promise was made or whether it was supported by consideration. To the extent it was a binding promise (which is unclear) we also do not have sufficient information to determine whether duress would invalidate an otherwise enforceable obligation. Duress can render a contract unenforceable, but it depends on the circumstances. Because this is such
a fact-heavy scenario, if you need help determining potential liability related to this real estate or if litigation is expected related to the same, it would be wise to seek counsel here in New York to protect her interests, both financial and legal. ... Read More
A: I agree with Mr Smollens. It appears from your question that time was not originally made of the essence in the contract (since you said the seller’s attorney “filed time of the essence”), and accordingly their not closing on the date may not have been a breach if you did not provide the proper notice to make it so.
Also, once you are in contract the buyer can not simply “withdraw the offer,” because you have more than an offer, you have an accepted offer and a contract. If she no longer wants to proceed with the sale, you can try to work something out to avoid losing the whole deposit, or maybe they breached in some other way that can act as an offset to use in negotiation.
Regardless as the seller has an attorney your mother should too, otherwise it can be an unfair playing field. ... Read More