you have nothing to worry about. i just bought a vessel under the same circumstances.
all you need is a bill of sale
(from the wife) and the USCG document filled out and USCG form CG-1258 (google it if you need to download it).
everything needs to be notarized and you need to pay a fee per application page.
NONE of the stuff the lawyer is doign is in anyway necessary. if the wife is the executor of the PO's estate and the vessel is not specifically excluded from said estate, then this can be treated as any other sale
my advice is to move forward with the survey
as this is just another example as a greedy (or incompetent) lawyer billing his client recklessly.
I would strongly recommend negotiating with the wife a clause where if you decide, after the survey
, to not move forward with the purchase
, she (the wife) will refer all prospects to you for purchase
of you 'current survey'.
if you have questions, PM me and i will do what i can to help cut thru the muck.