I am the personal representative of an estate. The decedent died in August, 2019. I distributed all the known assets and closed the estate in March 2020. But the Probate Code where I am states that closing the estate (1) does not terminate my duties as personal representative; and (2) still allows me to act on behalf of the estate when it comes to tax issues. Per my state's probate code, only a year after the date of closing am I officially terminated as personal representative.
As folks here may have heard, the IRS is sending checks to deceased individuals. I checked the IRS "Get My Payment" site for the decedent. The IRS states that it is sending a check on April 24 to the decedent at my address. (I used my address on the deceased's final tax return, for tax year 2019.) The check will be for $1200.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) states that an "eligible individual" does not include an estate. As interested, see . A number of web sites indicate that the IRS's mailing of a $1200 (or more) stimulus check to a deceased individual is legally not the same as mailing the check to the estate. These sites also point out that the CARES Act has no "clawback" provision. Mistakes the IRS makes in sending out checks, that are in favor of the taxpayer dollar-wise, cannot be corrected. Is is said that the point of the legislation was to get money into people's hands as quickly as possible, regardless of how slipshod the printing and distribution of money to taxpayers may appear to be.
One could argue that the money being sent to deceased individuals goes to the devisees of the estate and so is still accomplishing its purpose of stimulating the economy. In this instance, the devisee is a large, well-known charity.
Right now, I plan to go to the bank where the estate account (now closed) was. I will bring my court appointment papers, death certificate, and the short, applicable statute sections. I will see if the bank will let me sign the check over to the bank and then write a money order to either me or the charity. If the bank hems and haws, I will ask if the bank would be willing to open another estate account.
Is there a hazard that the IRS will try to clawback this money?
- posted 9 months ago