What to do if I am the executor for my mother’s estate and my nephew is living in the big house rent free and refuses to pay the taxes?

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What to do if I am the executor for my mother’s estate and my nephew is living in the big house rent free and refuses to pay the taxes?

I have not gone to Probate Court yet to settle everything. My brother has a son living in the main house who refuses to pay the taxes on the property. My brother wants all 4 of us to divide the tax bill. I totally disagree since my nephew is living there rent free. Do I have any authority without getting my brothers involved? Should I hire an attorney to probate her Will?

Asked on June 3, 2015 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can hire an attorney but you are not required to do so. The fact is that as the executor of the estate you have a fiduciary duty to oversee estate assets. Since your nephew is not paying rent or any form of rent (i.e. paying taxes), you can file an unlawful detainer action and have him evicted if it comes down to that. Again, as executor, you are within your rights to do so. You can then rent out the premises and use the rent received to pay the taxes. Once a probate is opened, you can sell the house and distribute the proceeds according to the terms of her Will. 

However, while you are not required to retain an attorney for matters of estate business, you may possibly want to at least consult with one directly as to the steps to take to proceed forward.


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