What to do if my brother died and now the school district has now sued for back property taxes, indicating “unnamed heirs” as defendants?

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What to do if my brother died and now the school district has now sued for back property taxes, indicating “unnamed heirs” as defendants?

He left no spouse/children/Will. I want nothing to do with the home (no equity). It has been vacant since he died. We liquidated his personal property ($3000) to offset funeral expenses. The order for sale for delinquent taxes indicates forced sale in 6-8 weeks. Can I ignore these procedures since I’m not a named owner of the property? The mortgage company keeps asking for a “deed in lieu” to help facilitate their foreclosure process but I’m not sure if that would in some way obligate me financially? Am I better off just keeping everything at arm’s length?

Asked on June 14, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  When you say "we" what do you mean? Was some one or were some people appointed as the personal representative of his estate?  In order to liquidate accounts you would have to have some ability to officially act on behalf of the estate.  If you are the PR then you need to act.  I would seek legal help.  A deed in lieu of foreclosure is not so bad a thing in this case as long as they waive the deficiency.  Please get help in your area.  Good luck.


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