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My mother died in 2013. Can I file and sign a return for her?

Only the personal representative can file the final return of a deceased person.

The personal representative will file a return for the year of death. That person will also file any returns not filed for prior years. A personal representative can be any of these:

  • Executor
  • Administrator
  • Surviving spouse
  • Legal representative
  • Anyone in charge of the deceased's property

If you're the personal representative, write “Personal representative” next to your signature. Also, write these across the top of the first page of the return:

  • "Deceased"
  • Deceased's name
  • Date of death

When you file her return, you don't need to include her death certificate, trust, or will.

Also, the personal representative should complete and attach:

  • Form 1310: Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due to a Deceased Taxpayer -- for any refunds calculated on the final Form 1040
  • Form 56: Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship -- for liability related to the appropriate fiduciary

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