Who is responsible for the clean-up of estate property?

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Who is responsible for the clean-up of estate property?

I am a grandson and my grandparents have passed away. Their 7 kids (my aunts/uncles) will not file probate because of the junk on my grandparent’s land. Zoning is trying to get them to clean it up. I have been here for 6 years, and for 5 of that I took care of grandma. It has been 1 year since she died. Zoning came out and said that I am living here now and that I am going to be charged for all the clean up. What can I do?

Asked on January 16, 2011 under Estate Planning, New Mexico

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  If your aunts and uncles are refusing to file an estate proceeding then you can do so on the estate's behalf.  Problem here: is there a Will?  If yes, then you need it and then you have to challenge the party listed as executor(trix) and request that you be placed as the personal Representative instead because of their failure to start proceedings and act as fiduciary of the estate.  Also be aware that by doing so you may get yourself kicked out of the house.  What you can do is to move, which ma not be the option that you wanted to hear but it may be the only one that is feasible at this point in time.  Tell the county that you are the caretaker of the property and that it is not owned by you and that the heirs are not probating the estate.  Good luck.


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