Q: My grandmother deeded her house to my aunt, my sister, and to me.
I am having an extremely difficult time getting my aunt to pay her share of the county and city property taxes. What are my options?
A: Why isn’t your aunt paying her share? Perhaps she cannot afford it. If you can afford to pay her share, then you may want to suggest purchasing her share of the house from her.
Or, perhaps you and your sister could purchase your aunt’s share of the property together and then you and she would own it. You could subtract the amount that your aunt owes from the cash you pay her for her share of the home.
This would solve a host of problems and, I’m sure, make your aunt feel better about not contributing to the maintenance and upkeep of the property.
If your aunt decides not to sell, you can sue to force the issue. But I’d hate to see that happen since it would likely cause a rift in your family.
Jan. 2, 2006.