Am I legally responsible for state fines related to real property of my deceased parents?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Am I legally responsible for state fines related to real property of my deceased parents?

My mother died 9 years ago my father died 31 years ago. There was no Will for either of my parents. My siblings just received notice that the property must be demolished immediately or brought up to code, I assume or fines will be incurred. The notice came in my father’s name. As far as I know, there has been no probate or other legal action initiated after the death of my mother, and my siblings have been paying property taxes for years while the house has been

vacant. Can we all just disclaim the inheritance and any related expenses? The property is worth much less than the cost to demolish. I assume none of us has any ownership as of today since there has been no probate. The state clearly has no idea both owners of the property have been deceased for years.

Asked on April 15, 2016 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can disclaim inheritance and avoid any fines or other obligations relating to the property. (The estate may have to pay, which could reduce what you will inherit; but you personally will not be liable.) No one can be forced to inherit property or assets against his or her will; and a non-owner of property is not iable for any fines or other obligations.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption