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My dad died last May. An accountant is doing my dad's taxes and told me my dad will receive a sizable refund.

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Have your lawyer explain whether or not you are eligible to have a Small Estate Affidavit prepared. If you are, he'll do it; Take that Small Estate Affidavit to your bank along with a copy of his death certificate, You should have no trouble cashing the check.
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My husband and my only income was social security disability. He just died leaving extensive medical bills. Am I now responsible for his bills? Will I be in debt for the rest of my life because I don't have money to pay his bills?
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I tried that and as soon as they saw "estate of" they wouldn't deposit it into her account. It has been a pain trying to get them to cash one little refund check. Finally had to get all heirs to sign an affidavit saying estate is not being probated.
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Sometimes just walking in and acting like you know what you are doing gets the job done. Don't ask questions, smile, hand over check signed deposit only with account number and deposit slip. Carry the death certificate for safety sake.

I've seen it done both ways with and without affidavit. Sometimes you get a person at the bank who starts reading a form and gets confused and then you are back at square one. Good luck!
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That won't work - you can't just deposit it. You have to get an Heirship Affadavit saying the estate was not probated. Then you can cash it.
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That should read "if the link is too long..." sorry.
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Here's the IRS form 1310, but it's in .pdf so you'll have to download it.

http://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html;jsessionid=Feb4d-WV-XO+jSlOcESiDg__?value=form+1310&criteria=formNumber&submitSearch=Find

If the link is too link, go to the irs.gov website, click on "Forms", then search for Form 1310.
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Agree with the others. You might ask the accountant about a form 1310, "Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer".

I had to file those to receive my deceased mother's and sister's tax refund. I just checked the old form I used; it may be outdated, so I would get an updated one from irs.gov.

The form has 3 options from which to choose:

(a) surviving spouse
(b) court appointed representative (with "court certificate" attached) or
(c) person other than (a) or (b), claiming refund for the decedent's estate.

I think you would be in category (c), but if Vegas Lady comes along you could ask her (or PM her). She's more knowledgeable about IRS procedures than I.

Some banks don't require endorsement for checks that are only deposited. You might check with your bank to see if that's the case, and if so, just deposit the check as Pam states.

But I would take his death certificate and your DPOA to the bank just in case you can't get the check issued in your name by the IRS.

Here's an amusing anecdote about dealing with the IRS and a deceased person.

After I filed our taxes last year, my father received a letter from the IRS notifying him that his refund could not be issued without filing a Form 1310 because that's required for a deceased person. He signed the 1040, there was absolutely nothing to indicate he was dead.

So I had to write them and tactfully explain their error, also asking them on what did they base their conclusion that he was dead despite having just signed his 1040 form?

Unbelievable.


As to having everything in order, how I wish that were possible! We had my sister's estate plan prepared by my attorney, Dad and I shared the Co-Trustee duties of her Trust and we shared power of attorney duties as well. There were no liquid assets to transfer into the estate, just the tangible property.

There were some specific reasons why we wanted those assets to be transferred into the Trust though. Sounds great on paper.

When I went to the Michigan Secretary of State to transfer title to her vehicles, they refused to do so, stating that a trust isn't a person and a nonperson can't hold title to a car. Huh? What about all the corporate leased cars?

It was clear that weren't going to budge so I had to transfer title to myself and notify the other heirs why I did so so that no issues would arise that I was taking assets from the estate for myself.

Same thing with the HO and vehicle insurance. The insurance carrier wouldn't ensure an entity - had to be a person. So I ended up insuring the house and vehicles in my name, with the Trust as an additional insured.

The carrier never explained how a trust could be an additional insured but not the primary insured.

You may have everything seemingly together, but there easily could be some governmental or private entity that has its own rules and you end up jumping through hoops to get everything accomplished.
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I had my dad's taxes done by an accountant and when I received my dad's refund checks they had my name on them as well as my dad's. I have no idea how this happened but I deposited them and there was no problem.
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I've had the same experience and the "for deposit only" didn't work. The bank would not even let me deposit it into my mom's bank account. She has nothing left either. I don't want to open probate for a few checks totaling only $1000.00. Lawyer says fill out an affidavit (obtained at courthouse) saying estate not being probated and take to bank.
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Ideally, you'll be able to just deposit the check. Just in case though, bring your father's death certificate and your POA, and any other papers that demonstrate your responsibility for his affairs. Show the papers to the bank employee(s) on an 'as needed' basis. If it does get a little gnarly at the bank (often, they don't know how to handle things if they don't go through these transactions regularly), just stay calm. It'll work out. :)
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I'm wishing you the luck of the Eyerish that they won't even blink an eye when you deposit the check. That would be the best possible outcome. All fingers and paws crossed at this house.
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My dad didn't have a will per se. He told me for years that he had taken care of everything, that I was not to worry, that when the time came I would have everything I needed. And he'd sit in his room and tell me that he was working on his "last wishes" so I never questioned him. When he was healthier and living at home with me I'd see him leave the house with papers under his arm so I took him at his word that everything was actually taken care of. It was my mistake to take him at his word. Not that he lied, but he thought he had taken care of everything and it was only when he became mentally incapacitated did I discover that he had not taken care of everything. I had my POA papers and my Advanced Healthcare papers but that was it. I had a heck of a time releasing his annuity and getting my name set up on his pension. He always seemed very organized, he was a college professor, and it never occurred to me that his affairs were in such disarray. I always advise my friends who have elderly parents to check and make sure their parents affairs are in order. Make them PROVE IT. I wish I had done that and I feel like a chump for not doing it but I trusted my dad.

So Jessie I guess that's the long version of the story of my dad's "will". There wasn't one. He had nothing to bequeath as we used what was left of his money for his care in the NH. What was left we used for his funeral services. That's why I'm concerned about this income tax refund check being made out in my dad's name. There's no account, no nothing.
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Eyerish, if for some reason they won't let you deposit the check in your account, there could be another way. Did your father have a will that left things to you? Are you the executrix of the will? If so, then get an EIN online (like a SSN) for an account you are going to set up for your father's estate at the bank. Take the EIN number, death certificate, and letters testimentary to your bank to set up an estate checking or savings account. Put the check into the account. It will have to go through a probate period maybe, but then you'll be able to draw it out and close the account. Big hassle, I know, but sometimes banks are very particular about checks written to a deceased person.

An easier way to do it perhaps would be if the check could be direct deposited into your account. That could get tricky, too, since names and SSN wouldn't match.
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I certainly don't want bunched up panties down at the bank. I'll give it a shot. Thanks!
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Don't make a big deal of it at the bank or they will get their panties all in a bunch. Just deposit it, let it clear and then spend it.
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It's that simple? I won't need a death certificate or anything?
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If you are the sole heir, just write "For Deposit Only" and put it in your bank account.
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Estate account???? There was no estate.
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You deposit it in the Estate account, which I hope is still open.
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