Ask Terry Questions tax responsibility for deceased family member

tax responsibility for deceased family member

By Terry Savage on July 19, 2015 | Wild Card

My mother passed away on feb. 20th 2015. After hours of waiting to speak to IRS person..I was told to send in a Death Certificate..I did that..but I just received a notice from the IRS that there is an unpaid amount due which includes penalties , interest charges etc.. I have spent hours and hours on the phone holding on to speak to one including the crazy web site can help me..My mother was in assisted living and in and out of the local hospital..(she died at age 99) She used my address for mailing and that is why the IRS is coming after ME ?? Is there anything you can help me with..thank you

Terry Says:  Did your mother leave an estate — any money at all?  I suspect not.  But if she had any assets, there would have been an estate tax filing. And the “estate” would owe the taxes. And if money from the estate was distributed to you, then — and only then — would YOU be liable for payments.  Even the IRS knows it can’t get money from a deceased person who left no assets!

If this is the case then let me direct you to attorney Adam Fayne, who helped me with the column.  I see that you are from the Chicago area, so he probably would be in a position to give you specific advice or contact the IRS on your behalf.  Reach him at



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