Am I responsible for my deceased mothers utility bills?

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My mother passed away and all that was she left was her own personal belongings which we sold to help us cover her funeral expenses, which did not even cover 1/4 of those expenses. So now I moved into the house that she lived in which belongs to my brother and there are still utility bills in her name at the house, now the city expects me to pay her unpaid utility bills.

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How much $ is it..... I’d kinda let that be a factor as to how much bother to put upon yourself in dealing with this. Like $300 pay it & let sleeping dogs lie in air conditioning but $ 3,000 is different...
AND
Is your moving into the home permanent?
Like you anticipate living there for years? If so, I’d suggest you take an original death certificate and a copy of property ownership that shows brothers name down to utility company to have the old bill sent to your brother as property owner & responsible party AND a new account opened in your name paying whatever deposit required for new accounts. Go online to see how much of a deposit is required, could be a couple of hundred.

The old bill bill is not your debt, it was a debt of your mom’s when she was alive and now that she’s dead a debt of her estate. Whomever is Executor of her Estate is saddled with dealing with this under how probate runs for your state. If probate isn’t being opened, it’s going into the uncollectable file if utilities can’t get your brother as property owner to pay. But utility could go hardball & pull the meter and refuse to install another till past due with interest is paid by someone. They usually will put a coded locking mechanism on the meter housing so any legit electrician won’t touch the property till utilities clear the account to go active & new meter in. For the property owner it will be hard to sell or rent it without active utilities so he’ll have to pay eventually.....

Unless you live in a city where utilities by law cannot shut off service. Like for New Orleans, over 1/3 of sewer & water accounts are beyond 6 mos delinquent but there’s a court issued restraint stopping S&WBoard from cutting off services till lawsuits against them are decided.

If your stay in the home is just very temporary I’d leave it in her name and pay whatever to keep stuff from being shut off and pay the bill you rack up for the brief period of time there.

out of curiosity, is your brother not a nice person?
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Reply to igloo572
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You would probably have to stop the service and reapply or to at least switch it from mom’s name to yours.
If you put it in your name then there might be a deposit for your account required. There might be a deposit returned to your mom. Either way there has to be an end and a beginning if you want to argue that you don’t owe for mom’s bill.
Since brother owns the house, has the power been in his name all along? Perhaps you could ask the power company to prorate your mom’s bill so that you don’t have to pay it all at one time. 

I am sorry for the loss of your mom. 
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Have the utility accounts been changed into your or your brother's names?
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Reply to rovana
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