My father recently passed (state of GA) and he owes some $60k in taxes. Presently there is no lien against his small IRA, home or van. My mother (though not married to my father) has lived in the home for more than 5 years.
We are trying to find her a home closer to us as we fear the IRS will take everything and she will have no where to go.
He owed much on credit cards too. I haven't touched anything and have no idea where to start.
I have sent back all of his bills, stating deceased, as there is no more income from his social security. We even had to pay for his cremation because he had no life insurance.
We are looking right now to purchase a home, closer to us, for my mother to live in. I feel like we've jumped out of the kettle and into the fire!
I have no idea what to do first, second or last. I'm totally lost!

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His estate needs to pay debt first then inheritance. The IRS WILL collect, that is their sole reason to exist and thy are proficient at it. So if you get the money, make sure you do not spend it. The IRS is proficient, not speedy. Talk to a lawyer.
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When my dad died over 2 months ago he had debt and had been in a debt management program. After he died I contacted his creditors and they all wrote it off. My dad's mail was being sent to me so each time I got a letter for my dad I just called them and told them he had died. I haven't heard a word since.
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Thank you both for your answers. He lived in GA and this is where the estate is as well.
His lawyer sent a letter to all of his creditors and 1 wrote it off. The will has. Ot yet gone to probate I, but we just purchased a small home for mother to live nearby.
I was told that the inheritated IRA had to be rolled over into my name; I care not as to whether the IRS takes it and the little farm is so far away we will have no one to care for it once we move my mother. It can be sold to settle what debts it can.
Thank you for the information about charging the cremation to ghe estate.
I guess now I just need the lawyer and probate judge to zet a date. I assume the cost can be charged to the estate as well?
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Even though he is deceased, his estate will still have to pay off the credit cards. Death is not a get-out-of-paying card. Get a tax attorney and your mother may have a problem since she was not legally married to him, unless the state in which you live has a common law marriage law.
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Is there a will? if so my suggestion is first - see a probate attorney to see what options are possible according to his state law on probate. Some states allow for a small estate discharge rather than full probate, and then some states are easy probate. Some state's have cc debt as unsecured debt so they are SOL in getting anything while other states allow for cc debt to go to judgement and with a lein on the property via the judgement.
then get at least a dozen death certificates (sometime the funeral home will order these for you (which you pay for) but otherwise you have to get them from the county or state and it can take time to get them). Most companies will need a actual death certificate in order to cease sending letters so although you have sent a letter in stating he's dead, they can't do anything till the death is verified. You need 1 for each debtor, insurance company, etc. plus maybe 5 extra. The more you order initially the cheaper they are.

If there was NO will, then you need to find out how his state handles that. Some states have it such that everything is escheated to the state. That is super sticky and you will need an attorney to deal establish heirship.

Whatever the case you can't just walk away as your dad's debts will affect your mom's situation. If mom & dad were divorced but still living together than she could still be viewed as common-law spouse.

Was dad on Medicaid at all? If so, there will be a claim or lein on the property via MERP (Medicaid estate recovery). Merp can be kinda subterranean in how the claim or lein is done as often does not show up on the tax assessor site but will show up when selling the property and the title search is being done.

Now in probate, expenses paid on funeral and burial are expenses against the estate. So if you paid 2K for it, then you can file a claim against the estate for those costs. If you pay for things on the house (like taxes) those too are usually expenses filed as a claim on the estate as also is being adminstrator for the estate. You kinda have to pay attention to how they get paid but that would be an attorney answer in how to structure. Good luck.
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