Are Beneficaries of an Illinois Estate Responsible for the Estate’s Taxes Which the Executor Neglected to Pay?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Are Beneficaries of an Illinois Estate Responsible for the Estate’s Taxes Which the Executor Neglected to Pay?

The decedent died in Illinois over five years ago, and one of his sons was named
the executor of the estate. The executor made some payouts to the two other
surviving sons, and then the estate remained open for years. Now, the executor
is claiming that all of the beneficiaries owe tens of thousands of dollars in
taxes which were owed by the estate and which the executor forgot to pay. This
does not seem right to me, because I do not understand how beneficiaries would
become responsible for the estate’s taxes.

Asked on October 12, 2018 under Estate Planning, Iowa


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You need all the information before you can solve this puzzle and I think you should seek help once you get it.  First start with the estate file.  It is a public record.  You need to review it and make a copy.  Look to see the value and the distributions made.  If the executor did something to breach his duty to the beneficiaries - like making distributions before paying debts - then the executor can be held liable.  Did he post a bond?  That would be good.  Get help.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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