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Anne_C
Anne_C, Tax Attorney
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Attorney, JD awarded with Certification in Tax Law
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Ex-husband (of over 13 years) died 8-31-2010 in bankruptcy.

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Ex-husband (of over 13 years) died 8-31-2010 in bankruptcy. Received W-2 form from his employer for wages paid before he got sick and also a W-2 from Lincoln Nat'l Life insurance. Also, a 1099R for $10579.47. His son (20 yrs old and full time student), rec'd a 1099 R form for $40485.52 of which it says the taxable amount is -0-, from ADP Retirement Service. He also received a 1099-R from Lincoln Life Ins Co. in the amount of $10186.70, which supposedly is totally taxable. No one is named executor of estate (there wasn't any estate)--he didn't own a house, didn't have any money in the bank and hadn't worked for months before he died. No one has access to any bank accounts, or former tax returns. There was no power of attorney. Who is responsible for this? His 75 year old mother has not been available for questions, and I don't think she should be liable for her son's debts--neither should his son, and I just volunteered to help them all through the funeral. I hadn't been married to Calvin for over 14 years. Do I have to file a return for him? I don't want to be responsible if he owed money, or if he owed money for years gone by. What do I need to do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Anne_C replied 3 years ago.

Good Evening -

(Q1) Ex-husband (of over 13 years) died 8-31-2010 in bankruptcy. Received W-2 form from his employer for wages paid before he got sick and also a W-2 from Lincoln Nat'l Life insurance. Also, a 1099R for $10579.47.

(A1) File a 1040 for your ex, or your son can do it - see www.irs.gov, or you can do it through TurboTax.

(Q2) His son (20 yrs old and full time student), rec'd a 1099 R form for $40485.52 of which it says the taxable amount is -0-, from ADP Retirement Service.

(A2) Your son will report this on his taxes

(Q3) He also received a 1099-R from Lincoln Life Ins Co. in the amount of $10186.70, which supposedly is totally taxable.

(A3) I'm a little surprised by this - here's the IRS guideline on the issue:

"Life insurance proceeds paid to you because of the death of the insured
person are not taxable unless the policy was turned over to you for a price.
This is true even if the proceeds were paid under an accident or health
insurance policy or an endowment contract. However, interest income received as
a result of life insurance proceeds may be taxable."

Your ex would have had to have a very large policy to have interest income that high.

(Q4) No one is named executor of estate (there wasn't any estate)--he didn't own a house, didn't have any money in the bank and hadn't worked for months before he died. No one has access to any bank accounts, or former tax returns. There was no power of attorney. Who is responsible for this? His 75 year old mother has not been available for questions, and I don't think she should be liable for her son's debts--neither should his son, and I just volunteered to help them all through the funeral.

(A4) Actually, in this case, his bankruptcy attorney has access to all of that information and is responsible for making sure all the debt is discharged in bankruptcy.

(Q5) I hadn't been married to Calvin for over 14 years. Do I have to file a return for him? I don't want to be responsible if he owed money, or if he owed money for years gone by. What do I need to do?

(A5) You or your son can file a return for him, but that doesn't make you liable for his debt. If your ex was in bankruptcy and not discharged, his attorneys should make sure all the debt is good charged.

Good luck with all of this, and - in case no one has told you - thanks for stepping up to the plate!

Anne_C, Tax Attorney
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2302
Experience: Attorney, JD awarded with Certification in Tax Law
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