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Received my deceased mother's tax refund check?

My mom filed her return last April, passed away in August and I just received her refund check in the mail. Is there any way that I can keep this money? It would help me pay my debt to the funeral home. Also, there wasn't any estate planning involved so there is no estate account.  


My mom didn't have any assets. I'm her only surviving relative. I'm an only child, dad passed away as well. Not sure if that changes anything. 

Update 2:

Also, her only income was social security, so no need to file tax return for 2020.

6 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    If you managed her estate return the check with form 1310 and request it be reissued in your name.  If you mother had a bank account that you haven't closed yet, write "for deposit to account xxx" and put it in the ATM then draw it back out in cash later.

  • 2 months ago

    Yeah, you go to probate court, get a judge to appoint you as executor of her estate (even if there isn't really any estate except this check), open up an account for the estate, etc.

    May or may not be worth the effort depending on how much money is involved.

  • Amy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    No planning doesn't mean no estate.

    The executor of her estate (or probate administrator if her will didn't name an executor) should deposit the check to the estate's bank account. They shouldn't distribute it to heirs until after filing this year's tax return in case they owe money.

  • 2 months ago

    It is part of her estate.  The estate includes all her assets at time of death, regardless of what her planning was  You need to go through probate.

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  • 2 months ago

    The money is simply part of her estate. If you are her heir, you get the money.

  • 2 months ago

    You need to review the probate laws in your state.

    If you don't need to probate the estate, then the money is yours.

    If you do, then you need to follow the probate regulations in your state to see how to handle the money.

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