Florida residents may remember that Aretha Franklin passed away in August 2018 from cancer. According to the IRS, her estate owes over $6.3 million in unpaid income taxes from 2012 to 2018. The organization is one of many interested parties listed in documents that the singer’s sons filed in Oakland County Probate Court. Specifically, the government says that the singer owes an estimated $2.1 million from 2015 and roughly $500,000 from 2016 and 2017.

The figures from 2016 and 2017 include taxes and fees on top of the original balance owed. It is not yet known how much in penalties and interest will be assessed for other tax years until the exact amounts owed are known. An additional claim was made for $1.5 million in taxes owed from 2010. An attorney for the estate says that it had paid $3 million in back taxes owed.

The attorney also said that the estate disputes the figures provided by the federal tax agency. However, the IRS claims that no part of either debt has been paid and that it is now considered payable to the government. An initial probate hearing is scheduled to take place on January 16. It is believed that it will take several years before creditor claims, such as those made by the IRS, are sorted out.

Those who pass away intestate may have less say over what happens to their assets. In such a scenario, an estate will likely need to go through probate, which is a public process. Generally speaking, all creditors or other interested parties will need to be notified that probate is taking place. An attorney may be able to help a person create an estate plan that may provide more protections over assets both while still alive and after passing on.

Source: Forbes, “IRS Seeks To Recover Millions In Unpaid Taxes From The Estate Of Aretha Franklin,” Kelly Phillips Erb, December 28, 2018