Who is responsible for the garbage and belongings of my deceased father? 1 Answers as of January 16, 2011

My father transferred his house (warranty deed) in my name a number of years ago, but retained life-lease, and lived in the house alone. He died last November, leaving belongings and garbage (he was a hoarder) in my house. Who is responsible for paying the trash bill, or seeing that things go to auction?

My mother is still alive but not in good health.
Dad also owned a small plot of land, which is land-locked and adjoining my property. That land is worth approximately $350. Who now owns that?

Hoping you can help!

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Javia & Moore
Javia & Moore | Marisa-Andrea Moore
These are excellent questions. First, concerning your deceased father's home, the person ultimately responsible for the home, taxes on the home and any bills concerning the home is the owner. Based on what you've written, you are the owner of the house and are thus responsible for paying the trash bill and other bills, taxes, etc associated with the house. The belongings inside of the home and the plot of land that your father left does not pass with the home and who it belongs to depends on several factors including, whether your father left a will or had a trust; if your father did not leave a will, the intestate laws of the state in which he was domiciled; and the character of the property. Because this is a rather complex set of facts, I highly recommend that you consult with an estate planning attorney at your earliest convenience.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/16/2011
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