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An estate tax refund will go back to the person who paid it or to the estate?

Ovid, MI |

I am a co-personal representative for my father's estate. I paid the entire estate tax due for my father's estate out of my personal bank account, not the estate account as it did not have sufficient funds. We are due a refund on some of the estate tax so I am wondering who the refund will go back to, me personally or the estate? Once again, I paid out of my personal account. The estate contributed nothing and my sister contributed nothing.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Since you paid this expense, you would be entitled to reimbursement of the cost, before anyone else is able to receive anything. You should be entitled to reimbursement of the entire amount paid, not just the refund.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


  2. The refund will come back to the estate.. the IRS does not know who paid the estate tax origionally..

    However, I agree with Attorney Frederick.. your payment on behalf of the state becomes a loan to the estate (e.g. a debt of the estate) you should be entitled to refund of the entire payment (not just the refund) before any distributions to anyone ... and potentially before any other expenses of the estate are paid.

    Please note that I answered this question with general knowlege of the law and with limited disclosure from you, my answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and I cannot be held responsible for how you, the asker, use the information provided. If you want to contact me directly and retain my services you may through my listing on this site or at 248-901-0750 or james@weineresq.com.

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