Who is responsible for paying back taxes on inherited property?

UPDATED: Jan 12, 2012

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Who is responsible for paying back taxes on inherited property?

My aunt recently passed away. She had life rights to a condo previously owned by her sister who died some years back. There are some back taxes owed but she has no estate so the taxes can’t be paid. Is it the executor or the person inheriting the condo who is responsible for paying those taxes?

Asked on January 12, 2012 under Estate Planning, Florida


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Generally speaking, in the world of real estate the owner in possession is responsible for the debts to be paid on the property.  So your aunt's estate would be responsible for the property taxes that have accrued while she was alive or the estate is still in possession of the property. Here, though, you indicate that the estate is penniless and can not pay the taxes so the executor has to decide what to do.  He can sell what ever porperty he needs to pay estate debt, even the condo.  So if you want it then I would suggest that you make some sort of deal and speak with your accountant on the matter.  This payment while you are not in possession may not be deductible for you.  Good luck. 

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