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Tax debt of deceased parent

Pittstown, NJ |

My father passed away 3 years ago. He died with no money or estate. I recently found out he owed the IRS money. He was married at the time he took money early from a retirement plan, but divorced at the time of his death. My sister, brither and I are concerned that we mey be held responsible for this debt. Are our concerns valid?
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Attorney Answers 2


  1. Note that I am not licensed to practice in your state. This is not intended as legal advice. Please check with an attorney in your state.

    You will not be held liable for the debts of your father. If there is money in the estate, it will be taken out of it first before splitting it between the children.


  2. Thanks for your question. Since I am an attorney, I cannot ethically give you specific legal advice on your situation, since you are not my client, but I can only provide you with general information that you may find helpful.

    Generally, any tax liability would be collected from the estate. Due to the length of time that your father has been dead, if his estate is closed (and the personal representative has been discharged), it is very unlikely that the IRS would attempt to collect from you personally.

    Perhaps it would be best for you to contact an attorney directly and provide him with more information to help assess the situation. This information is not intended to substitute for professional legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should accept legal advice only from a licensed legal professional with whom you have an attorney-client relationship.

    Best of luck to you,

    Shawn C. Newman, Esq.
    Attorney At Law
    1881 NE 26th Street, Suite 212E
    Wilton Manors, FL 33305
    (877) 552-9385
    Shawn@ShawnNewman.com
    Licensed to practice law in New Jersey, Florida and the District of Columbia

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