- Review The Estate Settlement Program™ Guide seven module process
- Complete the “Your Goals and Concerns” Worksheet
- Review your duties and responsibilities as personal representative/trustee
- Review The Getting Started Checklist™
- Confirm this firm’s engagement as your attorney
- Meet your Team
In any estate administration, the legal documents govern the wishes of the deceased and determine the ultimate outcome of who benefits from the estate/trust. Moreover, a myriad of notices and other court documents must be filed under Florida law. This module of the Estate Settlement Guide® serves to organize these important documents.
One of the first responsibilities of the personal representative/trustee in an estate administration is to marshal the assets, obtain date of death values (for tax reporting purposes) and to determine whether the assets and portfolio should be adjusted to meet the needs of the estate and its beneficiaries. Where the assets are located, how they are titled (owned), and what they consist of drives almost all of the decisions to be made during the course of the administration.
The personal representative/trustee has a primary duty to first notify and clear creditors prior to making distributions to beneficiaries. This stage of the process leads you through the legal requirements to satisfy one of the most important obligations.
This stage of the process concentrates on a very important element of any estate administration - the proper reporting and payment of taxes. It will be important to have a qualified tax return specialist on the professional team – preferably a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who is well versed with income, gift, estate and generation skipping transfer tax reporting.
In order to protect the personal representative/trustee from liability, and to comply with the law, an accounting is prepared and is delivered to the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are asked to review and approve the accounting, from which point distributions are made. Some distributions may be outright where others may be held in continuing trusts. This module of the Estate Settlement Guide™ serves to lead you through this process.
We’ve made it through this Estate Settlement Program™ and have successfully completed what has probably been for you an emotional and arduous process. Congratulations! You may have open points or questions going forward, and there may be estate, tax and financial opportunities available to take advantage of. This module serves to organize your thinking and clarify outstanding points.