If my mother died but will probably be due a $1600 income tax refund, what should we do?

UPDATED: Oct 28, 2014

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If my mother died but will probably be due a $1600 income tax refund, what should we do?

She had a Will but did not have any assets or debts. Her estate was planned with having carefully planned on avoiding probate. However, it now seems it will be necessary in order for the estate to receive this refund. Any suggestions – let the IRS keep it; file a final 1040 and let refund go via eft to her still open JAWRS bank account; or hire a lawyer for probate and beg for reduced fee?

Asked on October 28, 2014 under Estate Planning, Texas


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It still may not be enough to open probate. Talk to the IRS and see if the refund can simply be automatically placed into her bank account.  If the IRS can do this, you still avoid probate. If you cannot avoid probate, go to the local courthouse and see what documentation you need in that court to open it as her executor/executrix, i.e. without an attorney. That should help.

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