If my father passed away and I closed his bank account to pay for funeral costs, can I be held liable for his unpaid property taxes?

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If my father passed away and I closed his bank account to pay for funeral costs, can I be held liable for his unpaid property taxes?

A few months later, I found out that he had a house. I ran title and discovered tax liens amounting to $500,000. The house is worth around $150,000. Neither myself nor my sister want to step up as executor. Will I be liable for his unpaid taxes because I closed his account?

Asked on August 20, 2014 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I would go and speak with an attorney on a consultation basis about what your options are here.  But know that funeral expenses are a priority of an estate and are to be paid first.  The issue is that you withdrew the money with out proper appointment as a fiduciary and there is where the glitch may be.  Good luck.


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