Q: A family member died recently & owns a lot in Arkansas but is behind on his taxes. Do I need to try to recover the lot?
The lot is worth $2000 and he owes around $220 in back taxes. We are NOT probating his estate because he does not have enough assets to warrant a full probate. Can the lot be sold? Is it worth the time and money to try to recover or sell the lot? Do I just allow the property to revert to the state of AR for failure to pay taxes? He resided in TN at the time of his death. Please advise and thank you!
A: In my opinion, your decision should be based on economics, not legal factors. As you already recognize, it may not be worth the expense to do anything. In order to sell the lot, you would have to file the paperwork to administer his estate in order to get legal authority to sign the sale deed, and there is expense to that process, Then since the property is in another state, that could require an "ancillary administration" ( with more cost). Clearly, if the taxes are not paid, under TN law ( can't say about Ark) the lot will be sold ( after about 2 years), and any "excess" proceeds ( the amount in excess of the delinquent taxes) would go to the property owner, so you might just wait and either buy it yourself at the tax sale ( giving you ownership) or let a third party buy it and try to collect the excess proceeds. Hope this helps.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.