Opelika, AL asked in Tax Law and Probate for Alabama

Q: A lien was placed on the estate for unpaid taxes of my deceased parent , what should I do?

How do I protect my family’s estate?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Probate Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: When dealing with a lien placed on an estate due to unpaid taxes of a deceased parent, the first step is to understand the extent of the debt. You should obtain a detailed statement of the tax owed, including any penalties and interest. This information is crucial for assessing the situation accurately.

Next, it's important to assess the estate's assets. Determine what assets are part of the estate and can be used to satisfy the lien. It's crucial to handle the estate's assets according to probate laws in Alabama, which might involve paying off debts before distributing assets to heirs.

You may want to consider negotiating with the tax authority for a payment plan or a settlement if paying the full amount immediately is not feasible. Tax authorities are sometimes willing to work out payment arrangements, especially in cases of hardship or extenuating circumstances.

It's also advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in tax law and probate matters. They can guide you through the process, represent you in dealings with tax authorities, and help protect the estate’s interests.

Remember, dealing with a lien on an estate can be complex, and the actions you take should be aimed at resolving the debt while preserving as much of the estate as possible for the beneficiaries. Taking prompt and informed action is key in such situations.

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