An administrator or legal representative of an estate who has been notified of a deceased
person's overpayment and closes the estate after disbursing estate funds for other
debts but does not repay the overpayment is liable for the amount due.
The administrator or legal representative is only liable to the extent of the estate.
EXAMPLE:A deceased debtor overpaid $12,000 left a $10,000 estate. After payment of the decedent's
priority debts (GN 02215.055), $5,000 remains in the estate. The executor (despite prior notification) closes
the estate without paying the government's claim. The executor is personally liable
for repayment of $5,000.
Where the assets of a debtor's estate have been distributed, SSA may also proceed
against the distributee(s) of the estate.
To find a distributee liable, he/she must have either the proceeds of the estate or
property attributable to such proceeds in his/her possession when notified of the
The liability of each distributee is proportionate to the share received.
EXAMPLE:Three distributees received $650 each from the estate of a decedent who was overpaid
$600. Each is liable for $200.