If I owe the IRS and my name is on a home shared with siblings, Can the irs come after my portion of the home?

Our mother put the house in my sister's name, my brother and I want our names on it too, I owe the IRS back taxes. Can they get anything from us? Her lawyer said not to put our names on the deed when we called

Bellingham, MA -

Attorney Answers (6)

Catherine Taylor

Catherine Taylor

Estate Planning Attorney - Holden, MA
Answered

As my colleague noted, the IRS can go after any assets held in your name, regardless of whether that property is held individually or jointly. If your mother would like you to have an interest in the property, she should talk to her estate planing attorney about transferring the deed to a trust with you and your siblings as beneficiaries. Certain language - called a spendthrift clause - can be included that would protect the property from being taken by any creditors, such as the IRS. Good luck.

This is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The content of this... more
Charles Adam Shultz

Charles Adam Shultz

Estate Planning Attorney - Los Angeles, CA
Answered

The IRS can go after any of your assets that you hold in your name whether in joint tenancy, tenant in common or otherwise. If your mom created a trust to hold your interest and put on restrictive provisions for distributions, you creditors, including the IRS would not be able to get at it. Your mother's lawyer was giving the correct advice in my opinion. That said, there are options for your mother to make the gift to you if that is what she wants. You should encourage your mother to discuss options with her estate planning attorney if that is really what she wants to do.

The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or... more
Denise Leydon Harvey

Denise Leydon Harvey

Estate Planning Attorney - Salem, MA
Answered

In general, the IRS can put a lien on your property if you owe money. In this case, the lien would cover your interest in the property (the portion/percentage you own). The property could not be sold without the lien being paid first or being paid from the proceeds of the sale. I am not sure whether the lawyer you mention is your mother's or your sister's lawyer, but I suggest you speak with him or her to understand the reasoning behind the advice. You could be opening yourself up to a collection action that you may not otherwise be susceptible to. If you do not understand or agree with the lawyer's advice, speak with a tax attorney in your area.

Please note: The above is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to establish and does not... more
Linda Simmons Campbell

Linda Simmons Campbell

Tax Lawyer - Burlington, CT
Answered

The other attorneys are correct. If you are gifted a portion of the home, the IRS will want your portion. Your mother should speak with an estate planning attorney so that all of your interests are protected.

info@cttaxhelp.com Office number: (860) 255-7423 Website: www.cttaxhelp.com. Our reply to your question has not... more
Brian C. Snell

Brian C. Snell

Estate Planning Attorney - Reading, MA
Answered

I would just add to this array of responses that if your mother's home was transferred to your sister individually, what were the reasons behind the transfer? For example, if your sister is living with your mother and the transfer was done for MassHealth planning purposes, the lawyer has given good advise. Transferring the property to someone other than the caretaker child could void the transfer and make the asset countable for MassHealth purposes.
I know it can be frustrating to think that you are being slighted in the distribution, but remember that the assets belong to your mother and as long as your sister is not exerting undue influence, then your mother should be permitted to distribute the assets to whom ever she pleases.

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and have an office in... more
Steven M Zelinger

Steven M Zelinger

Estate Planning Attorney - Philadelphia, PA
Answered

I concur with my colleagues. I would also advise you to contact your own attorney regarding resolving the tax issue so that this debt does not continue to "follow you around."

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is... more

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