Can you tell me if it is legal to put someone’s name on a tax document without their permission?

My deceased mother and her deceased brother inherited a farm from their parents. The property is now owned by their 6 heirs, 3 on each side. My brother, who is my mother’s judge appointed executor, has paid the property tax for the last 10 years and collected each share of property tax from the other 5 heirs. Recently, he called the tax assessor and put my name on the property tax records without my knowledge or permission. I understand my credit rating will be affected if I do not/cannot pay the whole amount on time (and try to be paid back by the other heirs after the fact). Would you advise me to hire an attorney and if so, a real estate lawyer?

Asked on November 13, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you are one of the heirs, then the property has been gifted (at least partially) to you, and all the heirs become responsible for future taxes.  If you want to decline the gift and the responsibility that comes with the gift, you need to consult with a probate attorney.  They can assist you with filing of the documents to get your name removed as a declined heir.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.