We are sorry for any loss you have had. Having gone through the loss of parents recently, we understand what you are experiencing. This will seem hard but hopefully this overview will get you through the process.
When any taxpayer dies, a final tax return should be filed to claim income earned in the year of death up to the date of death. This is usually done by the executor or administrator of the estate or a survivor if no executor is named. The filing deadline is the normal April deadline in the year following the date of death.
In general, you would file the final return in the same manner as when they were alive, but “deceased” is written after the name. Claim all the income, deductions and credits they were entitled to up to the date of death.
If your parent is due a tax refund, you can claim it using IRS Form 1310, entitled Statement of a Person Claiming a Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer. If money is owed, you can submit what is owed with the tax return.
That is all there is to the final tax return. If there are assets to be distributed to beneficiaries, an estate tax return is likely needed. That is more complicated and beyond the scope of this article.
Should you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.