My mom's father died 3 yrs ago, she's being sued for sister's debt

by Brandon

My mother's father died in March of 2010 leaving a small estate that consisted of a house worth ~$80000 in Texas. My mother's sister had been living w/ their father and mother as a caregiver for 5+ yrs. (Their mother died ~2 yrs before.) After my grandfather died, she continues to live in the residence.
Yesterday a constable came to my house, a rental property owned by my mother, not a resident, to serve her a "lawsuit for taxes", his words, and not to the house she's been living in for 20+ yrs. Since I was not her they would not give me the papers.
After talking to mom she tells me that the house was never probated and that it remains in her deceased fathers name and not her sister. Apparantly her sister hasn't paid property taxes in some time or is delinquent a large amount around $5000.
What sort of process is my mother facing?
Is this just a form of foreclosure on the property?
She never cosigned or had involvment in her fathers accounts, could her assets be at risk?
What will happen if the house is taken to probate so long after the deceased has passed?
Why was the constable involved? She has never received a single letter informing her of her responsibilities financial or otherwise.
Will this affect her credit?

Comments for My mom's father died 3 yrs ago, she's being sued for sister's debt

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Sep 06, 2018
Seek attorney advice
by: Anonymous

Do not wait and don't take advice from people posting legal advice. Contact an attorney. Contact your state bar association and they can give you names of qualified attorneys. Good luck.

Reply from

We agree. Our condolences.

Sep 01, 2015
re your father's un-probated estate
by: Anonymous

FIRST OF ALL . . . YOUR FAMILY IS IN GRAVE DANGER OF LOSING, IF NOT ALREADY, YOUR FATHER'S HOUSE...I have personally been there and in times of grief you think you can move on and do but VULTURES ARE CIRCLING YOU AND YOUR POSSESSIONS and sometimes they hit a home run.

I am not an Attorney, but I try to share my experience [was horrible] with as many people who have gone through this same thing like I did; so this WILL DEFINITELY help [a lawyer won't do this w/o a NON LEGAL barrister advice as a profession is free].

I lost my mom, my best friend and I was devastated. No help from my relatives and mom's house was worth $279,000.00; the balance of the mortgage was $11,000.00 and some change. I was just laid off from my job and could get no help. I gave an attorney a $5,000 retainer (all I had left); he did nothing but drag his feet and billed me $2500 a month (even when he did not go to court) and after about 6 months; I severed times with them and they put a lien on my home (for court cost, lien, additional fees and court conferences....lots of grief followed). The Lien total now was over $80,000.00 and the attorney sold it to someone else to get his money; they went to court and placed a LIEN/Foreclosure on my home (I had no way to get the money). At the last minute I hired another lawyer who agreed to help me until I could seek help from as many people that I knew (she got stuck in traffic and the sale was CONFIRMED in court which was the FIRST on the court call.

ONCE THE SALE OF YOUR HOUSE IS "CONFIRMED" . . . You have lost your house and must vacant the premises.

THAT IS WHY THEY ARE TRYING TO SERVE YOU WITH COURT PAPERS; YOU NEED TO GET A LAWYER (ask the local bar for help....some lawyers can really be sharks out there regardless of what you are going thru).

Act fast or you may loose your house (or may have already because a Tax Lien can be sold and there goes something precious your relative worked really hard for). Good Luck!

Mar 24, 2015
by: Anonymous

Your question is fairly complicated and since we are not attorneys, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with an estate planning attorney. The attorney can help you sort out your situation. Best of luck.

My uncle was in a partnership (50/50) with a friend for his business which recently closed. The business partnership owes an outstanding debt of $60k. My uncle recently passed and I am named the beneficiary.

Do I accrue half of his debt from this partnership?
Since it is not a corporation.. Does that mean his personal assets are seized and in turn- since I am now his beneficiary- do they come after me for money owed, should the assets not be enough to satisfy his debt?

Apr 23, 2013
My mom's father died 3 yrs ago. She's been sued for unpaid property taxes on his house.

I am not clear why your mother was served with papers related to the lawsuit over the unpaid taxes on your grandfather's home. Did she have power of attorney for him -- a legal right to make financial decisions on your grandfather's behalf, pay his debts, etc? Did she co-own the home with your grandfather?

The property tax authority is entitled to be paid the taxes it is owed and if it is not, it will put a lien on the house and tax authority may seize the home and sell it to pay off the taxes.
(By the way, the unpaid property taxes are not her sisters' debt. Although she may be living in the house she does not own the house and therefore has no legal obligation to pay the taxes. Your grandfather's estate does.)

The constable was involved because he or she was legally responsible for delivering the official lawsuit paperwork.

If your mother is not co-owner of the house then her assets cannot be taken to pay the tax debt nor will her credit be affected. However, it is important that she talk with an attorney right away regarding the situation. There are attorneys who specialize in handling property tax issues, so she might want to schedule an initial appointment with one of them or given that your grandfather's estate was never probated, she might want to start by going here, Ask Estate Lawyers Now, to get some direction for free. Whenever there is lawsuit, it's best to get legal advice right away.

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