Q&A: Does a parent of a deceased adult child have to pay the child’s tax debt?
Question by Vanessa F: Does a parent of a deceased adult child have to pay the child’s tax debt?
My mother filed my deceased brother’s tax returen and claimed the refund. She now recieved a letter claiming that she owes his tax debt. Is she liable to pay this debt back?
Answer by Joe
My understanding of this issue is that you aren’t liable for anything. In fact, if you get a number of copies of his “proof of death” (POD, or death certificate) you can contact all the companies and government agencies sending him bills and get them all stopped without paying any of them if you just send in the PODs in lieu of payments. Check with a tax accountant to determine if and how you might be eligible to receive any refunds due to him. You’ll need copies of PODs in order to access the money he might have in bank accounts and assets he has in any brokerage accounts.
Good luck with all of this. I’m sorry for your loss.
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