CALL US: 732-777-1158  ~  1581 Route 27, Edison, NJ 08817
Urbach and Avraham Certified Public Accountants

Estate and Trusts

Executor To-Do List

Whom to Notify

Brokerage and Investment Firms
Credit Card Companies (check if you can utilize unredeemed points/rewards)
Contact decedent’s employer for a list and value of all benefits including qualified plans, stock options, life insurance, final pay that may be due to the surviving spouse and family and any other death benefits.
Insurance Companies (Home, Auto, Life, Long Term Care)Please note that home owner’s insurance needs to be converted to vacant status for a house that is not occupied.
Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions
Pension Administrators
Post Office
Social Security Administration
Veterans Affairs Department

Task Time Line

Locate Will
Submit Will for Probate
Apply for Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for the Estate
Transfer bank and investment accounts from the deceased’s name into name of the estate
Use estate funds to pay any outstanding bills of decedent (utility bills, mortgage payments,  outstanding credit card bills etc.)
Collect all income , receivables and other funds due to the decedent or the estate.
Inventory safety deposits boxes in presence of bank officer
File Final Income Tax Return (1040) covering the period from the beginning of the year  to date of death
File Fiduciary Income Tax Return (Form 1041) for the Estate during administration
File Estate and Inheritance Tax Forms and apply for necessary waivers
Manage assets until distribution to beneficiaries
Verify beneficiaries of bank accounts, retirement accounts and treasury bonds
Determine beneficiaries of Life Insurance & Annuities
Contact beneficiaries
Notify Attorney General’s Office regarding charitable beneficiaries.
Complete Child Support Judgment Search of all beneficiaries (required before distribution)
Do search for any unclaimed property
Have Real Estate Appraised
Clean and Fix up Property and arrange for sale of real estate
Terminate car leases and/or sell cars
Make arrangements for tombstone

Topics for Discussion with Accountant

Should a Form 706 be filed to enable the surviving spouse to use the decedent’s unused exclusion amount (DSUE).
Was there an estate settlement or any litigation regarding beneficiaries of the estate?
Determine if a formal or informal accounting is required
Did the decedent take his/her minimum IRA distribution in the year of death?
How to determine date of death value of all assets 
Assess whether alternative valuation of assets is appropriate.
Tax Ramifications of Asset Distribution
Do you have original stock certificates needed for transfer of shares from decedent’s name into the estate?
Do you know how to obtain and complete paperwork necessary to transfer brokerage accounts from decedent’s name into the estate?
Did you obtain IRS Form 712 from each life insurance company?
Do you file IRS Form 56, Notice of Fiduciary Relationship?
Were there transfers within 3 years of the decedent’s death that require the filing of a gift tax return?
Should you file IRS Form 4810, Request for Prompt Assessment of Income & Gift Tax and IRS Form 5495, Request for Discharge of Personal Liability for Income and Gift Tax?
Did the decedent have assets that need to be appraised by a qualified appraiser?
Do you need help arranging clean up and sale of real estate?

Family Business and its Complexities

Was there a buy sell agreement?
Did the decedent own a family business that needs to be divided among multiple beneficiaries?
Who will maintain the business until it is sold or transferred?
Are the services of a business valuator required?
Who is paying the estate tax on the business and are there liquid funds available to pay these taxes?
Locate five year’s business tax returns for  Business Valuation Expert
Review business insurance coverage for business
Have business tax returns been filed to date?