Tax duties of an estate administrator. These should be taken seriously. Getting professional help is always a good idea, if you can afford it. If you cannot, lots of resources on the internet can help guide you thru the maze of things that need to be completed at the death of a loved one. The IRS also has information available at the IRS website,  Tax duties of an estate administrator.

Tax duties of an estate administrator. When a person dies a probate proceeding may be opened. Depending on state law, probate will generally open within 30 to 90 days from the date of death. One of the probate court’s first actions will be to appoint a legal representative for the decedent and his or her estate. The legal representative may be a surviving spouse, other family member, executor named in the decedent’s will or an attorney. We will use the term “estate administrator” to refer to the appointed legal representative. The probate court will issue Letters Testamentary authorizing the estate administrator of the decedent to act on the decedent’s behalf. You will need the Letters Testamentary to handle the decedent’s tax and other matters.

In general, the responsibilities of an estate administrator are to collect all the decedent’s assets, pay creditors and distribute the remaining assets to heirs or other beneficiaries. As an estate administrator your first responsibility is to provide the probate court with an accounting of the decedent’s assets and debts. Some assets may need to be appraised to determine their value. All debts will need to be verified and creditor claims against the estate must be filed. The administrator can also file for any tax relief options available, including the IRS Fresh Start Program, or if the person has unfiled tax returns, a potential penalty abatement. This is difficult when you are dealing with a deceased person and should be handled thru a Tax Resolution Services firm.   How to verify a federal tax debt is covered in the Getting Information Page from the IRS. How to get IRS to file a creditor claim in the probate proceeding is covered on the Getting the IRS to File a Proof of Claim in a Probate Proceeding page.