If I just received the tax refund of my deceased sister, who does this money go?

UPDATED: Nov 14, 2011

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If I just received the tax refund of my deceased sister, who does this money go?

She didn’t have a Will or anything to probate. I was wondering who do I pay first?

Asked on November 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, Georgia


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If your sister died with out a Will then she is said to have died "intestate" and there are intestacy statutes in the state that will govern the distribution of her net estate.  Generally speaking if she was unmarried then her siblings and parents would probably inherit.  You have to apply to be the personal representative of the estate in order to deposit the check in to an estate account or to be able to pay off her estate debt.  The debt that has priority is the funeral bill.  After that you really have to see what there is and what you have.  You may be able to negotiate with credit cards, etc., if there is not enough money to pay the bills in full.  They would rather take something than nothing.  Estates can be bankrupt.  Good luck.  

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