New York Estate Planning News - Find a NY Estate Attorney

Anna Nicole Smith's Estate Owes Back Taxes

The estate of Anna Nicole Smith is still bleeding money, five years after her death. The IRS is chasing her estate for unpaid taxes, reports NBC.

Earlier this week, the IRS filed a tax lien against Anna Nicole Smith’s estate in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The IRS is trying to recover back taxes in an amount of $289,123.48.

This isn’t the first time that Anna Nicole Smith’s estate has faced legal issues. Back in 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that her estate was not entitled to any money from her late husband J. Howard Marshall’s estate. Despite the fact that she had been his wife, his will made no provision for her and as a result, she didn’t inherit.

In the case of Anna Nicole Smith, there are several major estate planning issues.

The first major issue is the obvious one— she didn’t inherit a penny from her dead husband’s estate. Did she know there was a will and that she was not named in it, or did she simply assume that she would automatically inherit everything he owned simply because she was his wife?

Perhaps under the laws of intestacy, she would have inherited her fair portion, but her late husband had a will and she was left out.

The second major issue relates to the liability of a deceased person’s estate for debt and back taxes. Anna Nicole Smith’s estate owes income taxes as opposed to estate tax. The tax lien arose from the tax years of 1994, 2003 and 2008.

The tax lien has priority over other creditors and attaches to the property of Anna Nicole Smith’s estate and to the assets in her estate. By having “priority” over other creditors, it means that the IRS must be paid before other creditors of the estate.

But with limited assets, there might not be anything left to pay the IRS with.

Related Resources: