If I owe back taxes to the IRS, how will this effect me as a beneficiary to a relative’s estate?

A relative passed away leaving myself and 2 others as equal beneficiaries to life insurance and estate. The land was transferred

upon death equally. I currently owe taxes to the IRS and want to make sure that the other 2 beneficiaries are not impacted by my IRS debt. I am ready to setup a payment plan with the IRS.

Asked on January 18, 2018 under Estate Planning, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The other beneficiaries and their share(s) of the estate are not liable for your tax debt; only you are liable for it. So while the IRS could try to take (e.g. garnish or levy on) what you receive from the estate (assuming you don't work matters out with them), they cannot touch what other people receive.

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