Personal Representative Liable for Distributing Estate Assets Before Paying Decedent’s Outstanding Tax Debt

In United States v. Shriner, 2014 WL 992300 (D.Md. March 13, 2014), a U.S. district court granted the government a summary judgment. The court held that the personal representative was personally liable for the decedent’s back income taxes.  The personal representative distributed the estate assets before paying the outstanding tax liability. The personal representative relied on allegedly erroneous advice from the estate’s attorney. Notice given to the attorney is imputed to the personal representative, so that the personal representative was liable for the taxes for which the estate had insufficient assets to pay.

For more on the personal liability of an executor for knowingly distributing assets before the claims of the government have been satisfied, please contact the Law Office of Mark Abell today at (310) 953-8191.