Who would be responsible for my deceased fathers tax liability if there’s not enough money in his estate to cover the debt?

UPDATED: May 28, 2009

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Who would be responsible for my deceased fathers tax liability if there’s not enough money in his estate to cover the debt?

My dad deeded his 80 acre farm/2 br home to his 3 kids in 05. Up to time of death in 08, he pd his taxes on time. In 07 he became ill and added my sister to his acct to help with finances. In a nut shell, the money he had to pay taxes ended up in sister’s personal acct and 07 taxes went unpaid. In 08 I am Admin of his estate. Upon filing his 07 taxes, found he owed $17K. The estate only has $10K. Farm sold after death, funds divided among kids. Land/home were in kids names only, he lived there and pd PPT. was in good health when he deeded farm to kids.

Asked on May 28, 2009 under Estate Planning, Kansas


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

You should (as administrator of the estate) hire a wills and estates lawyer to look at this.  One place to look for a qualified attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com

I'm not a Kansas lawyer, and the law on this subject can vary from state to state. Plus, this is one area where "in a nut shell" isn't nearly enough information to give you an answer. In many states, if a person puts another person's name on their bank account just for the first person's convenience, so the other person can help them make payments, it's not a gift, and if the second person has used the money for her own purposes, sometimes they can be forced to give it back.  But on slightly different facts, sometimes, it doesn't work that way.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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