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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32369
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I was left a condo from my boyfriend (who died)and its still

Customer Question

I was left a condo from my boyfriend (who died)and its still in probate for another month. The taxes were due in July, but the lawyer only paid for 1/2 of them and said when December arrives -that I can pay the other half in December. Is the estate responsible for paying all of the taxes or only half? My boyfriend died April 2nd. thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

The estate is responsible for keeping the taxes current while the property is a part of the estate. However, the executor is also under a duty to preserve estate assets as much as possible. Therefore, you have an argument to have the estate pay them through the time the property is transferred to you, but any time after that is your responsibility. There would be no duty of the estate to pay the taxes up through the end of the year if you receive the property in September.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also-I am living in the condo and the lawyer is paying the electric, and homeowner bills and I'm not sure what month those will stop-he will not answer my e-mails.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what about the homeowner monthly charges-when does the estate stop paying those?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if the furnace or water heater were to malfunction-who would cover those expenses?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Are you paying rent to the estate while living in the condo?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have lived in here for 17 years
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Technically if the estate is paying any portion of the bills then the executor should be charging rent to you as well so you may want to think carefully before raising an issue as to what the estate does and does not pay. If you ask the court to order the estate to pay more than it is agreeing to pay then the estate can ask that you be charged rent for the time you have lived there and for that to be offset. Usually this will mean you receive less, but you'd have to do the numbers to know for sure.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

You would only be charged rent for the portion of time since the death of the owner.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok- he had sent me an email that I can live here rent free. October 1 is the 6 month mark
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I saved the email
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He seems to be in a hurry to close the estate before October 1- not sure why
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He gave everyone their bequests 3 months back except for this condo.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

My guess is that the court will interpret that as you live there rent free and the estate pays a certain portion of bills for a limited amount of time. Technically he wasn't supposed to do that at all, the law states the executor is to manage the assets in a manner that is most beneficial to the estate.

Of course, you never know for sure what a judge is going to do but I have had a lot of experience with probate judges and normally they would just have him pay the bills required to take care of the unit, like water and electricity, since turning those off can cause the unit to depreciate, and to keep taxes as current as is minimally necessary. Once you get into replacing appliances the judge isn't likely to allow him to do that since that is taking other estate assets to enrich this one.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

I'm not sure why he would be in a big hurry other than the court may like to run their accounting periods from October to October for their fiscal year.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok- got it- makes sense. So I will just lay low and pray that October gets here quickly!
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

That would make the most sense right now. After October 1 you can reevaluate.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

If your question has been answered completely then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I’d suggest Excellent!) so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
you have been very helpful- and I have used this site before many times. Its actually cheaper than hiring a lawyer for just a few quick questions!
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

It's a good website for issues like this. It allows customers to get good, inexpensive responses pretty quickly and allows us experts to pick up a few extra dollars in our off time.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

And thank you very much.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh- one more all I need now is the deed do I need a lawyer for that?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, you definitely want your deed to be done by a lawyer but the executor will likely do that. The transfer can be done by deed or by an order of the court, either way. The executor will sign the deed on behalf of the estate but usually they draft the deed as well.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks so much-have a nice rest of your day!
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

You're very welcome and you have a nice weekend as well!

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
If your question has been answered completely then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.
Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread.

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