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My friend died owing California $53,000 and the IRS $1,495. His personal property is worth virtually nothing. What now?

Monterey, CA |

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.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

When your friend died, it appears that the debt would also die because he has nothing to collect on. This happens.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you, Mr. Sanchez. His relative is older and I am helping her at this end. Who should contact the state and irs and how does she become the surviving heir?

Eduardo Guillermo Sanchez

Eduardo Guillermo Sanchez

Posted

The relative, as a practical matter, should contact the IRS and the state. But, it might not be necessary at all because the IRS and CA will not be able to anything. The call could actually raise more questions from the agencies and confuse them.

Asker

Posted

Do you think California is likely to sweep in at a later date and exhibit hostility because they did not get to look at his things before they were distributed to friends, relatives and the salvation army?

Posted

His estate is insolvent.

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Posted

How does his sister convince the irs and especially the state of the lack of value in his possessions?

L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor

Posted

Is there some reason why convincing them is necessary? That's not advice, it's a question.

Asker

Posted

Ah, you are thinking like an attorney, which is why I asked the question here after finding this website. I am thinking like a civilian who has some fear of bureaucratic entities. My use of the word convince merely meant that I thought someone would want to see his stuff before we disposed of it. A fair amount of it will go into a dumpster. The rest will be mementos for people who loved him. The state would have to pay more to have someone haul it away than it is worth.

L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor

Posted

There you go.

Posted

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.

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Posted

Will the IRS send someone to see what he has? The tax bill is from 2006 and may relate to his business that folded with the economy. The state tax bill is for the years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. The IRS bill is says it is a "Reminder of overdue taxes for 2006". The California bill has a bold heading that says "Annual Notice" and "This notice is for informational purposes only". I have yet to find anything about a lien.

John P Fazzio III

John P Fazzio III

Posted

The IRS will rely on the information filed for the estate.

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