Rescinding Exemptions

It has come to our attention that many people are unaware that when a loved one passes away and they owned a home, the heirs may need to Rescind the Principal Residence Exemption on the property.

Consequences of Forgetting to Rescind
If your attorney, realtor, or township assessor/treasurer does not address this, you need to ask. If the Principal Residence Exemption is not valid and you do not rescind it you will be responsible for the back taxes along with interest for the current year and up to 3 years prior depending on when the error is caught.

We have seen some significant bills come through and it appears that the owners were genuinely not aware of the problem. They received the property tax bills and paid them each year but did not remove the exemptions at the township, so the bill was less than it should have been.The County Treasurer has the authority to waive the interest.

Do I Need to Rescind?
In order to make it more transparent, here are some questions you will want answered if a loved one who owns property passes away:
  • Did your loved one own property in Grand Traverse County?
  • Was this property their primary place of residency?
  • Did they have a Principal Residence Exemption on their taxes?
How to Rescind
If you are not sure of the answers, please check with your township assessor/treasurer. If they did have an Principal Residence Exemption and it should be rescinded; fill out the Request to Rescind Principal Residence Exemption (PDF) and return it to your township assessor/treasurer.

For More Information

To view a list of resources and local assessors, please view the Information for Beneficiaries, Heirs, Spouses, and Joint Owners of a Deceased Person Who Owned Real Property Brochure (PDF).