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Release of Estate Tax lien

When a person dies, the Tax Law places a lien on the decedent's real property to secure the payment of any estate tax due. This estate tax lien is effective as of the decedent's date of death. To transfer real property from a decedent's estate, you must request and then receive a release of lien from the New York State Tax Department. The release of lien is an authorization to transfer the real property, located in New York State, free and clear of the estate tax lien. The lien applies only to real property located in New York State.

No fee applies to a release of lien.

When a release of lien is required

A release of lien is used as necessary for all dates of death unless the decedent and surviving spouse held real property as the only joint tenants.

Whether or not a release of lien is required does not depend on the value of the property.

How to ensure timely processing

To avoid delaying your closing, your application must be accurate and complete. Before you mail your application for a release of lien, double check that you have:

  • selected the correct forms,
  • included all the required documents,
  • completed all the required sections, and
  • reviewed our Filing tips.

When to schedule your closing

Do not schedule your closing until you receive your stamped copy of the release of lien (if a release of lien is required).

The average processing time for a completed application is three to four weeks.

  • Allow an additional seven to ten business days for mailing.
  • Incorrect or incomplete forms and missing documents can add significant processing time.

How to apply

You must file two forms and all supplemental documents to apply for a release of lien.

File Form ET-117, Release of Lien of Estate Tax - Real property or cooperative apartment, and one of the following:

  • Form ET-30, Application for Release(s) of Estate Tax Lien,
  • Form ET-706, New York State Estate Tax Return (if we already have your return on file but you need to submit Form ET-117 and you are not amending Form ET-706, send only the first page of Form ET-706 and write "Copy for Lien Request" on it), or
  • Form ET-85, New York State Estate Tax Certification.

If you wish to designate a representative to receive confidential information on your behalf, see Form ET-14, Estate Tax Power of Attorney and Form DTF-280, Tax Information Authorization.

Which form you should file

Use the chart below to determine which form to use. See Estate tax forms and instructions to obtain the form that corresponds to the time period in which the death occurred. See Pub-605, Release of Estate Tax Lien Procedures for a printable version of the table shown below.

If use Required with Form ET-117, Release of Lien and Estate Tax - Real property or cooperative apartment
you're the appointed executor or administrator of the estate, or the duly authorized representative of the executor, and
  • fewer than nine months have passed since the date of death,
Note: If you have applied for your letters testamentary or letters of administration but have not yet received them, use Form ET-85, New York State Estate Tax Certification, to request a release of lien.
Form ET-30, Application for Release(s) of Estate Tax Lien.   Complete the Estimated value of all assets of estate section.

  Submit an original or verified copy of the letters testamentary or the letters of administration.

  Attach a copy of the death certificate.

  Enter PTINs or social security numbers requested on any forms you submit (Tax Law, Article 26, section 977(A)).
the estate is required to file a New York State estate tax return, and either:
  • the estate hasn't obtained an extension of time to file the estate tax return, and more than nine months have passed since the date of death; or
  • the estate obtained an extension of time to file the estate tax return, and more than 15 months have passed since the date of death (the extension has expired),
Form ET-706, New York State Estate Tax Return.   Pay all tax due in full.

  Attach a copy of the death certificate.

  Enter PTINs or social security numbers requested on any forms you submit (Tax Law, Article 26, section 977(A)).

  Include all other supplemental documents (see Form ET-706-I, Instructions for Form ET-706).

Note: if we already have your return on file but you need to submit Form ET-117 and you are not amending Form ET-706, send only the first page of Form ET-706 and write "Copy for Lien Request" on it.
the estate isn't required to file a New York State estate tax return, and either:
  • no executor or administrator has been appointed; or
  • more than nine months have passed since the date of death,
OR

the estate is required to file a New York State estate tax return, and either:
  • fewer than nine months have passed since the date of death, and an executor or administrator has not been appointed; or
  • more than nine but less than 15 months have passed since the date of death, and an extension of time to file the estate tax return has been granted,
Form ET-85, New York State Estate Tax Certification.   Submit Form ET-130, Tentative Payment of Estate Tax, if applicable. (If the estate is subject to tax, you may be required to make an estimated payment.)

  You must complete the Estimated net estate section. 

  Notarize Form ET-85, New York State Estate Tax Certification.

  Submit a signed Form ET-85, New York State Estate Tax Certification. The form must be signed by the applicant, the executor, or an approved Power of Attorney.

  Enter PTINs or social security numbers requested on any forms you submit (Tax Law, Article 26, section 977(A)).

  Attach a copy of the death certificate.

Filing tips

  • Use the estate's recorded deed and property tax bill to complete all sections of Form ET-117. File a separate Form ET-117 for properties located in different counties.
  • File a separate Form ET-117 for real property and cooperative apartments, even when they are located in the same county.
  • Ensure that the name and address on Form ET-117 are accurate and legible; this is where we will send the completed ET-117. Once processed, the address cannot be changed without submitting a new Form ET-117.
  • Check that the estate's outstanding tax assessments are fully paid before applying for a release of lien. We cannot process a request for a waiver or release of lien until all bills are paid.
  • Do not use the private delivery address to request a release of lien. Send all documents to:

NYS ESTATE TAX
PROCESSING CENTER
PO BOX 15167
ALBANY NY 12212-5167

Resources

 

Updated: January 29, 2016