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What are the tax-related duties of a personal representative?

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2023 | Estate Planning, Trust And Probate Administration

When making plans concerning your estate, you could already have someone in mind as the personal representative. This person conducts tasks on your behalf, affecting the estate you left behind after death. This role has an extensive list of duties, including organizing your assets, coordinating with your creditors and fulfilling responsibilities to your heirs or beneficiaries.

The personal representative must also compile reports and file crucial tax requirements based on your circumstances before dying. They must complete various tax-related tasks with the IRS, including the following:

  • File tax returns for you, the decedent, for the year before death
  • File taxes on gifts designated by the decedent before death
  • File tax returns and income for the estate, requiring more than one form based on the situation
  • File estate tax returns, depending on the estate’s gross value

These requirements might seem straightforward, but they can become complex based on the estate’s details and the decedent’s circumstances before passing on. The personal representative might also need to file tax returns on other items and use the estate to cover any overdue payments to the IRS.

Going through the probate process

Filing tax returns and settling IRS payments are essentials in the probate process. Most of the time, these tasks come first before making property distribution arrangements. A personal representative must be able to prioritize these requirements to manage your estate properly. They must also be open to seeking legal counsel in case unexpected issues arise anytime during the process.

Feeling worried about probate and how it could affect your estate after your death is normal. If so, speak to a lawyer about preparing a comprehensive estate plan. It could help address your concerns and minimize issues your surviving family might face because of complications during probate.