When your loved one dies, someone is still responsible for paying the property taxes on the home which he or she owned. If property taxes are not paid, the local taxing authority may obtain a lien and eventually foreclose on the property. It is of vital importance that you establish, in your estate plan, who is responsible for these payments.
Who is responsible for property taxes when the homeowner dies?
Each state has its own estate rules for tax planning. In some states, your spouse is the primary beneficiary and therefore responsible for the taxes on the home. In other states, a lineal heir such as a son or daughter is responsible. Regardless of where the estate planning regulations may be, it is important to establish who is responsible for property taxes when the property is inherited. Land may be inherited by other family members (children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles or brothers and sisters) if: (1) the land owner is married, and (2) the wife and/or the widow or widower are under age 50 (or 65 for widows or widowers) and not over age 75. If you want to know how much tax to pay on an inherited property, visit our site http://www.propertytaxquestions.com.
The executor of the estate
As the designated executor of the estate, your executor will need to identify who is liable to pay property taxes. When your loved one dies, the estate will be responsible for handling the estate's assets, and property taxes may be one of the assets that are transferred to the estate. However, this is not always the case. As the executor of the estate, you will need to determine who is liable for property taxes when someone dies. In the case of a life estate, if the owner of the property leaves it to his or her children, then the children are the legal heirs and responsible for making the payments. However, if the owner leaves it to someone else, like an adult son or daughter, then that person may be liable for property taxes.
The surviving spouse
Most likely, you will still be responsible for making the property taxes on your deceased spouse's home after you are widowed. The interest owed on the taxes is often lowered by filing an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) marriage dissolution tax return. Because this tax is not available to married people without a valid marriage certificate, you must first file a joint return to file it on your deceased spouse's taxes. Keep in mind that even if the property taxes have been paid in full, it is possible that the IRS could secure a judgment against the surviving spouse, which could put a lien on the property.
Several children may inherit the property, especially if there are multiple children. However, under some state laws, there is a greater possibility that a surviving spouse can take over these obligations. Additionally, if there are other property interests (stock, bonds, cash, vehicles, etc.) that were left to family members, this may prove to be problematic. Under some circumstances, heirs can become delinquent for property taxes and sometimes it can be a matter of outright foreclosure.
If you have the property in your name and you haven’t paid property taxes on the property for a period of three years or more, local government may request a lien on the property to collect the taxes. However, a tax lien is not permanent, and the tax lien can be discharged in certain situations, including when you die. It is important to contact your local tax collection agency to find out the status of your property taxes. The tax collectors who handle your property taxes will contact you by mail to confirm your address and to determine if you have a forwarding address. The letter will explain that the tax collector must either send a summons to the mailing address or prepare and send out a demand notice to your home address.
Steve Schafer is the founder of TheEulogyWriters and the author of hundreds of heartfelt, wonderful eulogies. He lives in Michigan and has been writing eulogies for well over thirty years. The articles in this blog are designed to help people through the process of losing loved ones and exploring issues in the aging process.
The Eulogy Writers
4092 Old Dominion Dr.
West Bloomfield, MI 48323
Writers: Steve Schafer, Ralph DiBiasio-Snyder, Abi Galeas, Miriam Hill
Steve's Personal Cell Phone: (734) 846-3072
Our email address is: Write4Me@TheEulogyWriters.com