WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON DUTIES ASSOCIATED WITH
THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE DECEDENT'S PROBATE (AND TRUST) ESTATE?
-- Work to conclude the probate estate may include any or all of
a. Carry out the funeral arrangements and pay the funeral bill.
b. Pay hospital and doctor bills and other expenses.
c. File Medicare and/or insurance claims.
d. Give notice of the decedent's death to the Social Security
Administration, other appropriate governmental agencies, and/or
private pension paying, etc., sources.
e. If the decedent had a safe deposit box, make arrangements
to collect the contents and close the box.
f. Review legal and financial documents and make inquiries to
banks and other organizations to verify the existence of assets
and the value thereof (including appraisals of valuable property)
and prepare an asset inventory valued as of the decedent's date
g. Make disposition of household furniture and furnishings, clothing,
jewelry, and personal effects of the decedent.
h. File claims to obtain proceeds of life insurance policies
i. Determine whether any assets passed to surviving joint tenants
or named beneficiaries directly and outside the estate.
j. Establish interest-bearing bank accounts in the name of the
estate (if not already established) and assign a tax identification
k. Provide for safeguarding of assets during the period of administration.
l. Provide for upkeep and maintenance of any home, including
adequate homeowner insurance, and prepare the home for sale or
for distribution to beneficiaries.
m. Provide for upkeep and maintenance of any motor vehicle(s),
including adequate insurance coverage, and prepare the motor vehicle(s)
for sale or distribution to beneficiaries.
n. Sell assets at the best possible price (if sale of assets
is necessary), or arrange for "in kind" distributions
o. Pay all debts and taxes, as well as all expenses of administration
of the estate.
p. File final individual Federal and state income tax returns
for the decedent for the year of death (short period runs from
January 1, to date of death).
q. Obtain clearance from taxing authorities in relation to income
tax returns for prior years (if necessary).
r. File Federal and state estate tax return(s)--if required.
s. File documents to obtain an estate tax waiver from the State
of Arizona (if required).
t. File Federal and state fiduciary income tax returns for the
estate for the period of administration (if required).
u. Send accounting summary to beneficiaries (if necessary).
v. Make distributions of assets to the beneficiaries named in
the will (or, if none, according to the laws of intestate distribution),
and obtain receipts from beneficiaries.
w. Upon final distribution of assets, close the estate