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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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