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Valueless Property in AZ

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The lawyer for my Dads estate had some real estate property that belonged to our family estate appraised and he told us that the property is "valueless". Then i get this notice that the taxes are due on the property by a certain deadline or we forfeit the property. I call him and he restates the property is "valueless" Then in the same sentence he tells me of some neighboring plots in the area and said he had been talking to my brother(my sister, myself and my brother havent spoken since the funeral because of objections re; the distribution of property) extensively about acquiring the nieghboring lots. I dont understand . If our property is "valueless" why would we want to acquire other"valueless" lots?



MAY 11, 2001


You should contact the county courthouse (real estate or land records section or property tax section) yourself to find out the value of these properties (if you know the addresses) and find out how much the unpaid property taxes are.

It is possible that the attorney may have told you the truth about these properties being "valueless", which could mean that they are in a poor section of town where real estate value is low, or are undeveloped (no housing built on them) or for some other reason may be difficult to sell. But it is also possible that he may not have been completely honest with you if he or someone else in the family is interested in purchasing these properties (the taxes may only amount to a few hundred dollars or less), which they could retain title to (after paying off the unpaid taxes) and then sell later on for a profit.

If you know the addresses, you can do the research yourself, but if you don't know the addresses and the attorney has all the information, then ask him to send you a list of the properties or a list of the unpaid tax amounts, and ask him what is the strategy or plan from this day forward. The fact that he tells you they are valueless is not enough. He needs to explain if he thinks the properties would be easy to sell to someone else, or whether he thinks a private individual would be interested in purchasing this land to build a home on. He needs to explain to you exactly what the value was shown as when the appraisals were done. If these properties are important for you that you think the family should keep, then you should make sure that the taxes are paid before the deadline.

If this attorney doesn't cooperate (it seems as if he is working for your brother only), then get a second opinion from someone else, or at least try to find out from him the name of the company or person who did the appraisals so you can contact that party.

If the properties are not that important, then it is okay to let the taxes lapse.


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Meaning of "valueless"

I fully agree with Advisor’s answer to the “valueless…” thread. However, I would like to add one more possibility.

The lawyer could have meant that the value of the property was not greater than the taxes, interest, and penalties due. That too, would make the property valueless.

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