Billings, MT asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law and Probate for Oklahoma

Q: My father died with no will. His house/property went to myself and his wife. She hasn’t paid taxes in 4 years. Options?

I am his daughter. I started receiving back tax stubs about 6 months ago and just got a letter of intent to auction. She refuses to sell the property back to our family (we got the land in the Okalahoma Land Run) and refused to pay the taxes. Shouldn’t the resident of the property be responsible for that? Help please?!

4 Lawyer Answers
Richard Winblad
Richard Winblad
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Edmond, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: Sorry for your headaches.

I am assuming that the wife has a spousal homestead in the property. You may want to protect your interest by paying the taxes to prevent a tax sale. You would be entitled to contribution if the property later sells. While I agree that she should pay the taxes, my gut reaction (without research) is that you cannot force her to do so.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Hans Otto Lehr
Hans Otto Lehr
Answered
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: If he had no will, how did the property pass to you and his wife? Was it held in trust? Who is on the deed presently? There are a lot of questions and issues that you will need to discuss with an attorney. It may be possible to still file a probate and settle the ownership issue, if that is needed. Someone will need to get the taxes current as well. Please contact a licensed attorney in the State of Oklahoma ASAP.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Tallahassee, FL

A: If you are receiving "back tax stubs about 6 months ago" and if you "just got a letter of intent to auction" the property for back taxes owed, there is a really good chance that the city or county where the land is located considers you to be a co-owner--and they are going to take the land away from you--and your step-mother--unless somebody pays all the back taxes and fees now due. Now.

Note: Whoever pays the back taxes and fees might later be able to file a claim (a lien) against the property--using the fact of payment--which will ultimately have to be paid back--with interest--whenever the property is sold. IF YOU WANT THE FAMILY PROPERTY, YOU SHOULD HIRE A LAWYER. NOW.

D. Mathew Blackburn
D. Mathew Blackburn
Answered
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Englewood, CO

A: The owners are jointly responsible, so if you are both on the deed you both are responsible for the taxes. I would suggest hiring a local attorney to see how you own the property and if you actually are responsible for the taxes and if so how to separate yourself from the liabilities of this individual.

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.