Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Heirs May Have to Return Stimulus Money Sent to the Deceased, But How and When?

StimuluscheckA number of family members or heirs of deceased loved ones recently received an unexpected stimulus check for the person that died. Some of the payments included a notation that the recipient was deceased, so they questioned if the payment was intentional or not. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said heirs should be return money that was sent in the name of someone who died, but did not elaborate.

So far, the government is not reporting exactly how many dead people were sent checks, but has said that it was an unintentional side effect of attempting to send out the checks to people as fact as possible. There is conflicting information if they already spent the money, or whether or not they have rights to the money as the recipient's natural heir. In a transcript of a April 17 White House briefing President Trump was asked about checks to dead people. He said, "we'll get that back."

See Connie Thompson, Heirs May Have to Return Stimulus Money Sent to the Deceased, But How and When?, April 29, 2020.


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On May 6, 2020, the IRS updated its FAQ's on the stimulus payments, including the procedures for returning payments to deceased taxpayers.

Answers to questions 10 and 41 address the problem. https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center

Posted by: Jeffrey S Goethe | May 11, 2020 5:16:38 AM

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