In April 2020, the U.S. Treasury began issuing Economic Impact Payments to alleviate the economic impact of social distancing guidelines on certain Americans. Funds were to be direct deposited into bank accounts of those who had filed tax returns and designated an account to receive tax refunds; paper checks were mailed to others. In some instances, funds were issued to deceased individuals in care of the personal representatives of the estate. That left many people wondering what to do with those funds.
The IRS has issued the following response:
A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions in the Q&A about repayments. 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. https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center.