It's hard enough to lose a loved one, and money worries only make painful matters more stressful. Nationwide, Americans are receiving stimulus money for deceased loved ones. Many have been left wondering what to do with that money.
"My dad worked very hard," said Bob Hultz. "He served in WWII."
Bob Hultz's father Jack had two great loves, this country and his wife. The couple created a beautiful life together and came just short of 66 years as man and wife.
"My father was 93-years-old," Bob said. "He passed away a year ago. The anniversary will be this Tuesday."
Bob's mother has been doing what she can and taking it all one day at a time.
"It was hard, but she's doing very well," he said.
Bob helps his mother with finances and was confused when she called him a few weeks back to discuss some unexpected money.
"(She said) $2,400 was direct deposited into her checking account," he said. "It was for the two of them."
Even though deceased, Jack still received his government stimulus payment.
"At this point in time, we have held onto the money," Bob said. "It's still in her checking account."
Bob said they didn't want to touch it while they sort through the best way to give it back. That's exactly what anyone in the situation should do. Do not spend it. The government wants that money back.
KHQ's Help Me Hayley has received questions about this. People haven't been sure what to do. Just last week, the IRS finally released guidelines about this very issue, saying in part, "A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS...Return the entire Payment unless the Payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the Payment, in which case, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the decedent. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000."
According to the IRS, you should return the payment using the following instructions:
- Write "Void" in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
- Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
- Don't staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
- Include a note stating the reason for returning the check.
You can find more information on the IRS website here.