-- The MH is old, 1963, probably not worth much, but includes a permanent 10x25 add-on room, appliances (W/D, fridge, oven, microwave), some furniture, and kitchen items.
-- No renters are allowed. If it sells, the owners want it removed to upgrade the park.
-- If we can't sell it, we could sign it over to the manager/owners who would demolish it. The manager implied that if there weren't enough assets left in the trailer to help recoup the removal costs, the owners could sue us for the cost.
-- Mom's holographic will designates my brother as "POA", not "executor", and had no MH designation.
-- The MH is personal property. The title has Mom's name only, with no liens.
-- There are no estate funds to pay for removal; Just one asset (a 1986 truck).
Can or should we walk away from it?Thank you for the two responses. However, why is probate even needed since Mom left a will, the value of the trailer is maybe $1,000 if sold, and the truck about $750? Can't everything be done non-probate? There is not enough cash to pay final medical expenses, much less creditors or the park owners. Neither of us are named executor or co-owner on the MH title, and don't want to claim it, since we can't afford the removal costs. We would either surrender or abandon the MH to the park. The manager stated the the owners could recover costs from salvage. We just don't want to be sued for the MH removal. (Remember, the MH is personal property, not real estate.)
The issues you have described are not landlord/tenant issues - they are probate and estate issues - the distribution of property after death. I suggest that you cut/paste your question under wills, estates, and trusts section of Avvo.
Nevertheless, you will likely need to hire a probate or estate attorney to assist you with the issues you have described, since your mother's estate will need to be probated. Once estated is probated, the landlord may have to wait until the estate is settled before proceeding with his/her plans. Also, a power of attorney designation in a will is useless and the estate must deal with the MH regardless or whether it is mentioned in mother's will or not.
After the estate is settled, the new owner of the MH may want to pose a similar question under landlord/tenant.
DISCLAIMERâ€”This answer is for informational purposes only under the AVVO system, its terms and conditions. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney client relationship. I am admitted only in Florida and Arizona.
There is a lot of information missing here that you should discuss with a probate attorney (preferrably in the county where your mother passed away), but if you are asking whether YOU could be held personally liable for the costs of removal (to the extent these costs exceed the value of the assets of the estate), the answer is no unless you personally agreed (in writing) to be liable for these costs. In other words, the manager could sue to obtain the mobile home and the 1986 truck - the only assets of the estate - but if you don't open a probate or intestate administration, the creditor would be forced to. As a probate lawyer, I would generally not advise such a creditor to do so given the legal fees and costs (which are paid before the creditor). That said, it is possible that they could treat the mobile home as abandoned property and trash it.
The question for you and your brother is this: does the value of the mobile home and 1986 truck exceed the costs of removal and other creditor claims, and if so, would it be worth the attorney fees and costs to get title in your names (eg, by small estate affidavit)?
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You should talk to an attorney that does probate work.
There is a process in Arizona to transfer property by affidavit in situations such as this, but it does not sound like you want to transfer the property to anyone because its value is likley exceeded by the costs to remove/demolish. The estate of your mother may be liable for the removal/demolish expenses, but neither your, nor your brohter, nor anyone else is liable absent some agreement to the contrary.
This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. An attorney licensed in your jurisdiction can answer questions specific to your specific fact situation and provide you appropriate advice as necessary based on the specific facts of your matter and the jurisdiction in which you reside. If you are in Arizona and interested in discussing your matter further I can be reached at: (480) 838-9000 Mark D. Fullerton, P.C. 1839 S. Alma School Road, Suite 275 Mesa, Arizona 85210
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