No. This is odd. If the owner of the house has passed away, the estate should be paying the utilities. A decedent's estate should be opened and creditors paid through the estate. Please consult in person with a probate attorney. There are not enough facts here to guide you. No one is an heir until the grantor has died.
Could it be that the estate does not have cash to make these payments and the attorney has a timeline before the deed can be transferred?
The attorney might be trying to save the house from going into foreclosure or late\fees.
You just ask the attorney why this is necessary>
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.
This is an unusual situation, but it's possible that the estate does not have any liquid assets, so the beneficiaries are being giving the opportunity to save their inheritance. The personal representative should confer with the attorney on this issue.
Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.
I agree with my colleagues. I have seen this kind of thing happen before, when the estate is insolvent. At that point, the choices are usually 1) go to the heirs and ask them to make the payments; or 2) fall behind and risk foreclosure of the property. If the estate in your situation has assets, then this request would not be appropriate, and you should seek legal advice right away.
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I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration.
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