Q: Who is responsible for property taxes and home insurance when a tenant in common passes away and a life estate exists?
My parents purchased a multi family property with my aunt years ago as tenants in common. My parents created a life estate with me for their portion of ownership and my aunt created a separate life estate with her children for her portion of the home. My parents passed away so I acquired their portion of ownership, but physically their part of the house remains empty because my aunt won’t allow me to rent it. My aunt is still alive and acting as the life tenant for her portion of the home. My question is, who is responsible for paying the property taxes and insurance? Is it a shared responsibility?
A: Yes, it is shared. But, you need to bring a partition action in Supreme Court if you want something to happen here.
Jack Mevorach and Steven Warren Smollens agree with this answer
How does your Aunt prevent you from leasing your share of the house? Does she prefer that the investment potential of the joint ownership suffer and then also will not pay her share of property tax?
I gather your Aunt does not want to pay her share of the property taxes and your cousins back her decision. One side has to wear the big shoes here and avoid foreclosure by the County. Pay the property taxes and sort this out later when you go into a partition action with your cousins.
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