Guide to Family to Navigating Overdue, Inherited Tax Debt

Death and payment of taxes are some of the sure things in life. Once you die, the first thing the people left do is to deal with the liability of paying any overdue taxes and debts. Loved ones pay the debts and taxes using the property and money you leave behind. The process can be stressful when dealing with the death of a loved one. However, you have the responsibility of clearing the debts and any tax returns. This article provides you with ideas on how to deal with inherited overdue tax debt.


The first step in dealing with inherited unpaid tax debts is communicating about the person’s death to the respective party. There is so much expected when you are dealing with delinquent taxes, and the best way to prepare is first to let the parties know. Inform the parties that you are making plans to fill returns and clear debts. It would be wise if you also remembered to ask for a document in writing, outlining all the overdue taxes that you will clear. Once the parties are aware of the death, they should give you time to deal with the crisis and handle all the legal procedures in clearing the debt. Informing the parties also allows the banks to stop deductions from accounts until you settle the case. In case the deceased have joint accounts, the responsible parties should remove them from it.

Contact an Experienced Financial or Legal Professional

The process of filing returns on a deceased can be complicated, mostly when you have not done it before. It is a lengthy procedure of going through the deceased assets and properties and finding whether there is any overdue tax or not. Fortunately, you can seek the help of experienced lawyers. Working with these expert lawyers provides you a legal guide on your role in filing the tax returns. The professionals also offer a clear idea of how the probate process works and how you can best eliminate any possible complications. A reliable lawyer provides you a free consultation before they navigate the process. You can freely discuss your needs as the lawyer understands the challenging period and offers smooth and dependable services for your needs.

Check for Insurance

The next move is to determine if the deceased has any insurance coverage to cover for overdue taxes in case of their death. If you are lucky to find an insurance company, make sure you check the insurance policy’s terms first to determine the nature of the claim to make. Some holders only settle debts during the period of illness, unemployment, but not death. After making a claim, you should wait for the speculated time for processing to take place.

Get a Probate Process

Once a loved one leaves, it is your responsibility to file any overdue tax for all the property they had. A probate process comes in when there is no will or trust left. Dealing with loss and handling the probate process can be complicated and may result in various mistakes if not carefully handled. Through the process, the court appoints someone responsible as an executor to handle any impending debt, including the overdue taxes. It could be a spouse or a close person to the deceased. You should note that the court gives the right to any party willing to object to the process. If there is no objection, proceed with the tax filing.


One practical way of dealing with inherited overdue taxes is to settle them in order of priority. It would help if you first understood that you have the right to determine funeral expenses before you stress about any process of filing returns for the deceased. One the court grants you the probate; you can decide to sell some of the property and settle the returns not covered by insurance companies. It is a step you should take before you think of distributing the property to the respective heirs. Debts like the council and income taxes should take the front line when filing taxes. If the money is not enough, you can think of an option after dealing with the most important ones.

Dealing with losing a loved one is complicated by itself; settling their overdue taxes should be less complicated. It is a common situation to have the deceased debts and unpaid taxes. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to solve the issue. Use the ideas in this article and manage the tax liabilities with ease. In case you exhaust all the assets and finances left, you can seek legal help to settle the case.