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Robin D.
Robin D., Senior Tax Advisor 4
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15301
Experience:  15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
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My spouse died recently, I will become his personal representative.

Customer Question

my spouse died recently, I will become his personal representative. we filed a joint tax return, no refunds yet. will the return become part of the probate asset?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Robin D. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you today. I am a tax adviser with over 20 years of experience.
The Gross Estate of the decedent consists of an accounting of everything you own or have certain interests in at the date of death.
Probate is the process of “proving” the identity of the individuals entitled to a deceased person’s property, after payment of that person’s debts, administration expenses, and any taxes that may be due.
The probate estate includes any property that is titled exclusively in the individual’s name, with no further direction as to how to dispose of that property.
As you filed a joint return the refund is not part of the estate.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** that mean anything we held jointly, such as houses, buildings, would be excluded from the probate
Expert:  Robin D. replied 2 years ago.
You are most welcome.
My goal is to give you excellent service.
Your positive rating is thanks enough
I can really only speak to you about the tax refund issue you asked about.
Whether or not jointly held property (i.e. property held by more than one person) needs to go through the probate process depends on the type of ownership.
Probate re-titles the property, putting it into the name of the person who was chosen to receive the property.
A tenancy in common will be subject to the probate process.
Property held by joint tenants with the right of survivorship is not subject to probate.
A tenancy by the entirety is a special form of joint ownership shared by spouses. when one spouse dies it isn’t treated as an event that passes title to the surviving spouse since the spouse already owns the title, the property doesn’t go through probate.
If you, as the surviving spouse, receive a tax refund check in both your name and your deceased spouse's name, you can have the check reissued in your name alone.
Return the joint-name check marked “VOID” along with Form 1310 to your local IRS office or the service center where you mailed your return, along with a written request for reissuance of the refund check. A new check will be issued in your name and mailed to you.
Expert:  Robin D. replied 2 years ago.
Please advise if you need clarification