Ada-Icon
Required

Inheriting Polluted Property Can Be Expensive, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA


Inheriting commercial real estate can seem like a financial windfall for many people. But it can turn into a financial nightmare if environmental pollution is later discovered on the property.

In “Contaminated Property Makes for Costly Inheritance” the New York Times writes about two heirs to commercial real estate who had to pay a high price many years after their inheritances.

In one case a woman inherited a portion of the property from her father. When she and the other owners went to sell the property an environmental report revealed that previous tenants had left behind pollution that would cost millions to clean up.

In the other case a woman inherited property from her father through a trust. Some 25 years after the trust sold the property the woman was named in a lawsuit that claimed pollutants on the property had resulted in illness. The woman won the legal case, but it cost her $500,000 in legal fees.

An important take away from these stories is that neither was responsible for the pollution on the property, but that does not matter. When property is discovered to be polluted previous owners can often be sued and held liable. Plaintiffs usually go after the previous owner who has the most money.

What this means for heirs is that if inherited property could be contaminated, it is often a good idea to disclaim the inheritance as it could cost more than it is worth. However, disclaiming inherited property must be done quickly so heirs should perform due diligence without hesitation.

Be on the lookout for any property where the kind of business that is known for facing environmental investigation has been located in the past.

Reference: New York Times (Feb. 19, 2016) “Contaminated Property Makes for Costly Inheritance

Hear From Our Clients
tes-prev
tes-next

“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce