If my father died, amI liable for his back taxes?

My father died a resident of one state; I am a resident of another. Months after his passing he (my father) received a letter from his state’s department of revenue, stating he owed back income taxes. Am I liable for that? There was no attorney involved with his affairs. He owned no real estate and property was under $30,000.

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

Sharon Siegel / Siegel & Siegel, P.C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am a NY lawyer.  The fact that you are domiciled in one state and your father was in another does not matter.  However, is there an administrator or executor of his estate? This person would be responsible for handling claims.  The IRS has a priority claim, which means they get paid first.  Thus, if you were the sole beneficiary, you need to pay the IRS as a creditor.  However, do not just pay them.  Make sure that you at a minimum you hire a lawyer to have you appointed and file a final return so that you do not encounter this problem every year.  You need a NY lawyer.

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