Yesterday afternoon, I received the following e-mail from a reader named Carol:
My son died suddenly on May 15, 2008. His (tax) rebate came in the mail today. What do I do with it? Are we, his parents, entitled to it? He is single with no children.
This is an interesting (and tragic) question, and I’m not entirely sure of the correct answer. I’m far from an expert on this topic, so I can only speculate. My best guess is that it’s her son’s money, so it rightfully belongs to his estate. As such, it would go to his heirs.
He was single with no kids, and I’m not sure if he had a will (I sure didn’t when I was at that stage of life). Assuming that he didn’t, then I would imagine that his estate would go to his closest living relatives, though this might vary by locale.
In writing this up, I found this tidbit of related information over on MSNBC:
Q: If a person passes away in Sept. of 2007 will they still get the extra check?
A: Technically, no. The IRS will not issue a check to someone who is deceased. The rebate will be paid to the estate of the person who died, to be distributed according to the terms of that personâ€™s will.
Assuming this to be true, I guess the question is whether or not they can deal with the check as written, or if they have to get it re-issued to his estate. Of course, in any situation like this it’s best to consult with a bona fide expert such as an estate attorney, or even the IRS.
Does anyone have any further insight?