How long does someone have to pay property tax on property before everyone else on the deed forfeits their share?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How long does someone have to pay property tax on property before everyone else on the deed forfeits their share?

My mom just passed away. She was living on 6 acres of land and the deed has her name and her 4 siblings name on it. For the last past 10 years, my mom and I have been paying the property taxes each year alone with no help from her siblings. She willed the property to me. Do I have a legal standing seeing as if the siblings haven’t paid any taxes and I have all the receipts that my mom has paid them directly out of her bank account for 10 years?

Asked on October 26, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, choosing to pay the property taxes yourself--and it was your choice; your mother's siblings had no power to make your mother or you pay those taxes for everyone--does NOT give you any rights to property. In the first place, paying taxes--or any cost associated with property--is separate from ownership; just as a parent could make his child's car payments for him/her without getting ownership of the car, or a significant other help his/her beloved with the mortgage on that person's house without getting ownership of it, so paying taxes on property does not convey ownership. Second, your voluntary choice to make payments for others does not let you take their property or interest in property from them. What you describe does not give you any right to take the "shares" of the other owners.

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.

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