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My husband died 6 months ago. What steps do I need to take?

Maryland |

The IRS is still withdrawing money out of his account, what do I do with his truck, he has debts that need to be paid. Don't know what to do.

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Attorney answers 2


The answer to your question depends on what the assets are and how they are titled. If you held title to everything jointly with your husband, then the assets all belong to you, at this point. If you were the beneficiary of his assets, the same is true. If the assets were titled in his name alone, or in his name with someone else, then you may not have access to them, at this point.

Assets titled in your husband's name alone at the time of his death, (with no beneficiary named), need to go through probate, before they can be titled in your name. Such assets would pass under your husband's Will, if he left one. If he had no Will, such assets would pass under the intestacy laws of Maryland.

When you say the IRS is withdrawing money from your husband's "account" I would need to know more about the nature of the account, and why the IRS is taking money out, in the first place. It is possible that the IRS could have a lien on your husband's assets for back taxes.

You may need to open an estate, in order to stop payment on the accounts. (In most states, the costs of probate administration take precedence over other creditor claims, including those of the IRS.)

You should consult with a probate attorney to determine where you stand and what needs to be done, at this point.

Best of luck to you and God bless you during this difficult holiday season!

James Frederick


I am sorry for your loss. At a time like this, the headache of taking care of administrative details can seem insurmountable.

You need to administer your husband's estate, which may include the probate of his estate with the Circuit Court. There will be responsibilities, like filing his final income tax return, paying any debts, and making certain that the title to his assets are correctly transferred to the appropriate beneficiary or beneficiaries.

The best advice is to make an appointment with a qualified trust and estates attorney where you live. After an hour or so, your attorney should be able to give you good direction and let you know exactly what steps to take.

To prepare, you should gather up some of the paperwork regarding your husband's assets. For example, your attorney will need to look at bank accounts statements, brokerage account statements, the deed to your home, the title to the truck, and paperwork regarding debts.

Why is the IRS withdrawing money from his account? Is is a payment for taxes due based on a settlement with the IRS? Or is it a quarterly tax payment? When you meet with an attorney, he or she will be able to assist in working out these details, and probably others that you haven't encountered yet.

Best of luck in resolving this matter. Please let me know if we can be of assistance.