Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Can you tell me if mother's estate was never probated through the court and settled to transfer the house into your name?
Or is the house still in mother's name?
Ok, from a purely legal perspective. until her will is probated and her estate settled, then the estate still owns the house. In order for ownership to pass to you, the house has to go through probate and be deeded out of the estate over to you personally.
So the estate owes the property taxes on the house, not you personally. But that doesn't really help things much if there aren't any assets in the estate to pay those taxes and if they aren't paid, the taxing authority will foreclose on the house and force a tax sale to pay off the delinquent taxes.
With that said, even if you had to take out a bad loan short term to save the house, it is worth it because you can later refinance the house or take out an equity loan at very low rates to pay off the tax loan.