Originally Posted by utrecht
So I called my mothers electric company. I advised them of the situation and asked them to leave the service on but to suspend billing until the will was probated at which time I would pay the bill. They said they had no procedures in place that would make that possible.
When my grandfather stopped paying his utility bills (dementia), the utility companies fussed and fumed at him and wrote stern letters, but then they settled down and kept billing him while tacking on 1.5%/month interest charges.
For over four years.
My father didn't get a call from anyone until my grandfather stopped paying his rent... then the landlord jumped right in.
Could you just keep paying the utility bill from her checking account, and deduct it from everyone's share of the estate? That monthly expense will give the heirs a little incentive to sign the agreement for you to sell the place.
I guess the other alternative would be to stop paying the bills and see what happens. But that would get expensive and would probably be perceived as un-fiduciary behavior.
BTW your real billing issue may be the home's insurance. It's unoccupied, and many insurance policies have a 60-day clause on that. I don't know whether it's better to leave them in blissful ignorance or to promptly notify them.