Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Probate for Kansas

Q: Can I file a petition to get one of the properties involved if the administrator neglected to pay taxes for 4 yrs

He had a bank acct with 33,000.00 in it that the probate judge said he could only use on the estate, however he used it for personal. He also lost a 2010 Camaro to a payday loan place. I just want to know if I can petition the court for possession of one property that he didn't pay property taxes on for 4 yrs. I don't want to pay the taxes myself unless I can take possession. But I also only have until 10/31/17 to pay them or lose the house to public auction

1 Lawyer Answer
Scott C. Stockwell
Scott C. Stockwell
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Lawrence, KS
  • Licensed in Kansas

A: You describe an estate in which the administrator has (a) failed to pay taxes and caused a property to be at risk for loss; (b) converted estate property for personal use; (c) lost another property to repossession due to unpaid obligations; and (d) failed to conclude an estate in a four-year period. You should immediately consult with an attorney about possibly filing a petition to either remove the administrator and substitute someone else as a new administrator; or have a special administrator appointed to deal with those responsibilities the existing administrator has failed to address. The administrator had a fiduciary responsibility to safeguard the assets and not use them for his or her own purposes. The court could compel the administrator to pay back into the estate the assets wrongfully spent or lost due to the administrator's inaction. If there is a bond, the bonding company may be held responsible for the assets misappropriated or lost due to inaction. You and your attorney may also want to demand that the administrator not be paid for services rendered or receive anything as a beneficiary of the estate until all other beneficiaries are made whole for the administrator's mistakes. You should act quickly to retain counsel to protect your interests.

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