He made his living as a wedding photographer and part-time teacher. He has nothing of any noticeable value. He also left no will. I am helping his out-of-state relative figure out what to do now.
When your friend died, it appears that the debt would also die because he has nothing to collect on. This happens.
His estate has no assets, so the IRS is out of luck. But, anything he does have should go to satisfy his last year's taxes and any IRS liens against him personally, and should not be going to his heirs.