Estate Planning

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How to Handle Organ Donation and Autopsy Decisions when Someone Dies

As soon as someone dies, make sure that you immediately familiarize yourself with the organ donation and autopsy wishes of the deceased. Check to see whether the decedent had a notation on his or her driver’s [more…]

How to Identify the People Associated with a Trust

The grantor of the trust has indeed set the stage for his or her wishes to be played out under the trust instrument. As trustee, identifying the players is one of your important first steps because you [more…]

How to Inform Beneficiaries of the Right to Disclaim

Beneficiaries may elect to disclaim, or refuse, an interest in the decedent’s estate that they don’t want to accept. Often beneficiaries exercise their right to disclaim for tax reasons. With some disclaimers [more…]

How to Locate a Decedent's Assets through the Mail

As you read the decedent’s mail, you may find references to many assets, including bank accounts (from bank statements), the safe deposit box (from any rental bills), real estate [more…]

How to List a Decedent's Household Property

As executor, you’ll need to consider all the stuff you find in the decedent’s residence(s). Everything the decedent owned outright on his or her date of death is now under your care as executor; you’re [more…]

How to Pay the Tax for Estate Form 706

The IRS generally loves the concept of electronic filing for just about everything, but the estate tax return is one return you can’t submit online. You must file [more…]

Penalties and Extensions for Estate Taxes

Do all you can to file your 706 by the due date (as extended) and pay the estate tax on time, because you incur penalties for late filing and late payment unless you can show reasonable cause for the delay [more…]

How to Compile Supplemental Documents for Estate Form 706

Completing the 706 may seem bad enough to you, but you probably have a pile of supporting documentation that you need to send with it. If you do, attach whichever of the following documents are applicable [more…]

How to Use Form 2848 with Estate Form 706

You may find it valuable to file a Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, with the IRS as executor or administrator, appointing an attorney, certified public accountant, Enrolled [more…]

How to Be Prepared for an Estate Audit

Given that only estates with a relatively high asset threshold have to file Form 706, you can understand that the IRS audits a higher percentage of these returns than any other type. Assume that yours [more…]

Roll an Estate’s Pension Plan or IRA to the Heirs

When you’re trying to figure out exactly how much the estate owns, you may be tempted to liquidate everything into cash. Although this thinking may work sometimes, don’t do it with any pension plan, IRA [more…]

What Is State Inheritance or Estate Tax?

Just as many states impose an income tax, many also impose estate or inheritance taxes. Most states used to calculate these taxes based on a credit on the federal [more…]

How to Complete Lines 4–8 of Part 4: Estate Form 706

You only began telling the IRS about the decedent in Part 1. Now you really have a chance to fill out the picture in Part 4. The first item under Part 4: General Information on Page 2 of the return is [more…]

How to Complete Lines 9–17 of Part 4: Estate Form 706

Lines 9–17 of the Estate Form 706 are to remind you of other property that may be includible in the decedent’s estate. If you aren’t including it, the IRS wants an explanation. [more…]

How to Complete Parts 1 and 2 of Estate Form 706

If the estate you’re administering requires a 706for any reason, you must complete the first four pages, together with all the other schedules needed to report your decedent’s assets, deductions, exclusions [more…]

How to Invest in Bonds for a Trust

Bonds are pieces of loans, packaged by a corporation or a government as an investment product. When you purchase a bond, you’re purchasing a piece of someone else’s debt. In exchange for the money you’re [more…]

What Is a Living Trust?

A living trust is a legal document created by you (the grantor) during your lifetime. Just like a will, a living trust spells out exactly what your desires are with regard to your assets, your dependents [more…]

Estate Settlement with or without a Will

Estates that have a valid will are classified and treated differently than estates without a valid will. If an estate has a will, you must file a petition with the probate court to have the will admitted [more…]


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