My mother passed away last year. Who files her income taxes?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 11, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I lost my Mama in October. I have no formal authority over her finances. Do I need to file income tax for her?

Expert Answers

Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City and KRLA in Los Angeles. He is a practicing lawyer specializing in estate planning and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He's a public speaker and commentator who has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country, and he's the legal editor of Talkers magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. His latest book is The Truth About Avoiding Scams.

If your mother had taxable income last year, an income tax return would have to be filed on her behalf.  However, if you are not appointed as either the executor or administrator of her estate, you would not have the authority to file an income tax return for her after her death.  If she has a refund due her or if she owes taxes, it is important to file an income tax return on her behalf.  All estates require at least some minimal form of probate.  The filing of an income tax return will be one of the duties of the administrator or executor of her estate.