Can the lender of an inherited property come back at the family if they decide not to take the property?

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Can the lender of an inherited property come back at the family if they decide not to take the property?

My grandfather passed away almost a month ago, and he left my sister and I his condo. Now, we have not signed any papers taking the condo within our names, but we are distraught on what to really do with it. We were thinking, if we can not refinance it to a lower payment as he still has a mortgage out on it, of thinking we just say ‘screw it’ and give it back to the lender.

But, the question lies Can they come back on the estate/us, even though we have not signed our names onto the property, for money owed, if they do not get the full amount of the loan still owed when they sell it themselves?

Asked on July 6, 2019 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) Unless heirs or beneficiaries actually inherit--i.e. accept the inheritance of, since you cannot be forced to inherit against your will--they cannot be held personally liable for any mortgage or any other debts. You cannot be made to pay any money out of pocket for these things.
2) The estate, however, can be held liable, since it is liable for the deceased's debts and obligations. The lender can go after the estate and any money in it, which can reduce (or eliiminate) what you would inherit--but that's all it can do: take money, etc. in the estate. Again, you would not be personally liable.


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