You Really Can Take It With You- Surviving Joint Tenant Gets Property Free of Lien.

The decedent owned a property in joint tenancy with another party.  Five years after acquiring the property, the IRS filed a lien against the decedent.  The decedent died the following year, with the decedent's undivided one-half interest in the property passing by survivorship to the other party who then had full ownership of the property.  The IRS sought enforce its lien.  However, the court determined that the decedent's death extinguished the lien - it died with the decedent.  The Court noted that federal tax liens do not give the IRS any rights that extend beyond state law.  Instead, the IRS obtains only those rights that other lienholders acquire.  The court noted that a surviving joint tenant(s) does not succeed to the rights of the first joint tenant to die, but rather the survivor's rights in joint tenancy property correspond to the rights obtained at the time the joint tenancy was created.  In this case, at the time the joint tenancy was created , the property was not subject to an IRS lien.  NPA Associates, LLC v. Estate of Cunning, 114 A.F.T.R. 2d 2014-____ (D. V.I. Oct. 17, 2014). 

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