Will I Have to Return a Stimulus Check Addressed to my Deceased Spouse?

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted individuals and families across the United States, prompting the government to issue a $2 trillion stimulus package, designed to help businesses and other citizens affected by the virus. One part of the stimulus package comes in the form of a direct, one-time cash rebate of up to $1,200 to qualifying individuals. Of course, this is a relief to many across the U.S. That being said, since the much-needed rebate was rushed out to all who qualify, there are certain instances wherein the IRS sent checks to people who are no longer alive.

If you are someone who jointly filed your tax returns with your spouse in the last two years who has since passed away, there is a good chance that this has not registered with the IRS yet and that you, therefore, received a rebate addressed to your deceased spouse. Of course, if this has happened to you, you are most likely now wondering whether you may keep the rebate or not. Though the answer to this question is not yet entirely clear, the good news is that the IRS has previously stated that it does not expect individuals to return this check.

That being said, President Trump has contradicted that statement and has remarked that he does expect the checks returned. As it stands, the matter is currently being investigated with the Government Accountability Office. Though we expect you will be able to keep the check, the best thing to do, for now, is to simply hold on to the check. Do not deposit, cash, or spend it, as if it is deemed you must return it, you will have to account for whatever money you spent.

If you have any additional estate planning questions, please do not hesitate to speak with our experienced Red Bank estate planning attorney today. We remain open for business and are here to help you.

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