If a taxpayer died before filing a return for the tax year, the taxpayer's spouse or personal representative may have to file and sign a return for that taxpayer. If the deceased taxpayer did not have to file a return but had tax withheld, a return must be filed to get a refund.
The person who files the return should use the form the taxpayer would have used. If the department mailed the taxpayer a booklet, do not use the label. The person who files the return should print the word "deceased" after the decedent's name in the address section of the form. Also enter the date of death after the decedent's name.
For instance, if your spouse died in 2013 and you did not remarry in 2013, or if your spouse died in 2014 before filing a return for 2013, you may file a joint return. If your spouse died in 2013, the joint return should show your spouse's 2013 income before death, and your income for all of 2013. If your spouse died in 2014, before filing the 2013 return, the joint return should show all of your income and all of your spouse's income for 2013. Print "Filing as surviving spouse" in the area where you sign the return. If someone else is the personal representative, he or she must also sign the return.