Posted on 2/2/14

dave says2 300KENTUCKY (1/26/14) – This week Dave discusses "paying the IRS first" and "checking on the checking account."

Dear Dave,

My husband has his own business installing windows. As a result, we now have IRS and state tax debt. We’re managing the payments, but where should these debts be placed in the debt snowball plan?


Dear Olivia,

I don’t usually cheat on the smallest to largest progression of the debt snowball, but I’d recommend moving these debts to the top of the list.
Both state and federal taxes come with ridiculous penalties and interest rates, and the authorities at either level have virtually unlimited power at their disposal to screw with your life if something bad happens. The IRS can actually take your money without suing you. So, you don’t want to become a blip on their radar screen by being late with payments.
Get it cleaned up as quickly as possible, Olivia. You don’t want to mess around with these guys!


Dear Dave,

My husband died eight years ago, and I never closed his bank accounts that were opened when we lived in another state. We lived in Florida before moving to Oregon. I didn’t probate the estate, and he did not have a will. I’m trying to work with the banks to get this settled, but they’re giving me the runaround. Do you have any advice?


Dear Melinda,

The first thing you need to do is contact an attorney who handles estate planning. If the accounts were opened in Florida, but you both lived in Oregon at the time of his death, technically the estate would be probated in Oregon. That may be what has to happen. If so, a judge would appoint you as executor. As executor, you can close the accounts and disperse any money to the rightful heir—which is you.

Be prepared, though. It may take somewhere between $250 and $500 in attorney fees and court costs to make this happen. If you’re lucky, you might get a simple motion from the court that would cost you next to nothing. But find a good estate planning attorney who knows Oregon law inside and out. Estate laws and probate laws differ from state to state, and Florida and Oregon both have some weird laws in these areas.

This probably seems like a lot of trouble, but you have to remember the banks are simply trying to protect themselves and follow the law. Anyone could walk in with a death certificate (they’re public record), and claim to be an heir. So, they have to have a court document in order to avoid any potential liability.

I’m sorry for your loss, Melinda. I know it still hurts after all this time, but you need to address this as soon as possible. I’m sure it’s what your husband would have wanted.


Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessari-ly adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources. your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Weather Sponsored by

1 DOW 17,798.49
-14.90 (-0.08%)    
2 S&P 2,090.11
+1.24 (0.06%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,127.52
+11.38 (0.22%)    


Most Read This Week

November 24, 2015 10275

Distillery to Operate in Old Graham School…

by SurfKY News
November 21, 2015 8945

Injuries Result from Beulah Road Accident

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
November 23, 2015 7808

Relative Charged with Murder, Arson in Deaths of…

by SurfKY News
November 24, 2015 4928

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 24

by SurfKY News
November 24, 2015 3469

Man Injured When Vehicle Collides with Deer

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

November 17, 2015 16454

Ohio County Most Wanted - Top 10 - November 17

by SurfKY News
November 18, 2015 14612

Runaway Teen Returns on His Own

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

November 28, 2015 3426

Woman Charged with Counterfeit Money Leads to…

by SurfKY News
November 28, 2015 3346

Local Teen Hospitalized after Officer-Involved…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 3255

Madisonville Man Charged with Attempted Murder…

by SurfKY News
November 28, 2015 2556

KSP Arrests Ohio Co. Man on Drug Charges

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 1706

First United Bancorp Set to Purchase Town &…

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 1295

Farm City Breakfast Recognizes Importance of…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 1153

Hooked on Science - Pinecone Hygrometer

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 951

Webster County Man Injured in Two-Vehicle Crash

by SurfKY News
November 27, 2015 941

Salvation Army Rings in Official Christmas…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
November 28, 2015 869

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Following Week

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News