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Who’s Responsible for Property Taxes When a Homeowner Dies?

Whether you’ve inherited a property, or you are a homeowner yourself, it’s important to know who is responsible for paying property taxes once a homeowner passes away. 

In most cases, if a homeowner passes away and still has property taxes due on their home, that debt becomes part of their estate along with any other debts they have left. But who actually is responsible for selling the home to pay their property taxes depends on how the estate has been prepared. Here are a few possibilities of who may be responsible for paying property taxes on a deceased person’s home: 

An Executor or Legal Representative 

An executor is an individual responsible for handling the finances of the estate once the homeowner dies. If there is no listed executor in the deceased person’s will, the court will appoint a “legal representative” to serve that role. The executor or legal representative will be responsible for paying property taxes owed out of the deceased homeowner’s estate. In most cases, the home will remain in their estate until it is sold or transferred to a legal heir. 

Trustee 

If the deceased homeowner held a trust, then it is the trustee who is legally responsible for paying the property taxes owed for as long as the home remains in the trust. 

Beneficiary 

If a homeowner lists an individual in their will to take legal title to their home after death, then the deceased homeowner’s estate will be responsible for paying the property taxes until legal title is transferred to the named beneficiary. At that point, the home becomes the property of the new owner, who will be responsible for the property taxes. 

Heirs 

Many people in Texas refer to “heir property”, which means the property goes to the heirs if there is no will. In this case, the heirs would be responsible for paying taxes on the deceased person’s home. Several categories of heirs include spouses, children, parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and nephews and nieces. 

County in Which the Home is Located 

In less common cases, the county in which the home is located may take legal title to the home in order to pay the property taxes owed on the deceased person’s home. This may happen if the estate does not have enough money to pay all the debts, including property taxes, even if it includes the proceeds from selling the home, then it may be the case that the taxes simply cannot be paid. 

A Property Tax Loan Can Help 

A property tax loan may be better than having to sell the property and offers greater flexibility than a credit card because helpful loan officers can work directly with you to customize a repayment plan that meets your needs. Property tax loans offer the convenience of potentially lower interest rates and repayment on a schedule that accommodates your unique situation all while leaving your credit card open for other needs or emergencies that may arise. Contact us today so we can work together on a plan to take control of your property taxes.