Dallas, TX asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Texas

Q: mother died. Left family home that I’ve lived in for 10 years, to me and brother. He’s executor. He won’t pay 1/2 taxes.

He hasn’t transferred title to us either. I pay all bills since I live here and don’t want to sell. If house was in our names, taxes would be less since I am disabled so my half would be lower. But I can’t pay $12,000 property tax bill alone. What do I do?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter
Answered
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You could sue to partition the property, but that would just get the house sold, and the proceeds divided. Otherwise, you're looking at suing your brother periodically for his share of the expenses that you paid.

Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: The house belongs to the estate. It may need to be sold to pay taxes and other debts with the beneficiaries splittling the net proceeds. If not, the executor should file a Distribution Deed with the county clerk, transferring title to the beneficiaries. You may then sue for partition and sale or be bought out. You may also sue for partition and sale if no distribution is made for 24 months after the executor is appointed.

Please note that because one of two owners is disabled does not mean that the entire property is entitled to a lower property tax rate.

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