* Coordinate the transfer of assets into trusts, including bank accounts, stock transfers and real estate deeds.
* Make income payments to trust beneficiaries.
* Draft fiduciary tax returns.
* Perform an investment analysis; with the trustee's approval, employ advisors or assistants as required.
* Perform routine trust accounting.
* As appropriate, prepare disclaimers in the beneficiary's interests.
* Advise the trustee of trust responsibilities.
* Distribute trust assets at termination of the trust.
* Draft petitions and proposed orders as necessary.
* Draft inter vivos trust agreements.
* Review wills for creation and direction of testamentary trusts; review court orders for creation and direction of
* Maintain financial records of trusts.
* Coordinate periodic income and principal distributions from trusts.
* Correspond and communicate with trusts' grantors and beneficiaries.
* Draft inventories, accounts, and petitions for those trusts requiring adjudication.
* Obtain tax identification number for trust.
* Draft fiduciary income tax returns for trusts; inform trusts' beneficiaries of the tax liability of their distributions
via IRS Schedules K-1.
* Draft intangible property tax returns for trusts and estates.
* Draft pleadings registering or terminating trusts and appointing or substituting trustees.
* Prepare schedule of allocations to trusts under will.
* Analyze and make investment recommendations to attorney for estate planning.
* Draft petitions to commence proceedings, personal well-being reports, notices of right to appeal annual and final
accounts, restorations to capacity, and closing documents.
* Prepare accountings for guardianship and/or conservatorship.
* Conduct preliminary valuation of assets held by the ward/conservatee.
* Prepare and maintain a calendar system, noting important estate administration deadlines and court appearances.
* Determine whether decedent left a will and, if it exists, location of will.
* Obtain the will and draft necessary documents to file will with probate court.
* If decedent owned safe deposit box, apply to probate court for an order to open the box; accompany fiduciary and
court representative to bank for removal of will and other contents from safe deposit box.
* Review will provisions and report to attorney.
* Order certified copies of documents, such as the death certificate.
* Draft documents to commence a probate proceeding; file the same with the probate court and act as liaison with court
personnel while identifying interested parties by determining heirs, devisees, contingent beneficiaries and creditors.
* Evaluate assets (as of date of death and alternate valuation date); verify bank balances and prepare inventory.
* Coordinate with out-of-state attorneys to commence ancillary proceedings to, for example, transfer title of vacation
real estate property, ascertain necessary creditor and debtor information, and determine status of life and health insurance
* Arrange for filing death certificate in real estate records.
* Arrange for notice to creditors to be published in a local newspaper.
* Review creditors' claims; present to estate representative for approval; transmit claims to court.
* File life insurance claims and other death benefit claims.
* Determine assets requiring protection by evaluating current insurance coverage. If appropriate, arrange for continued
coverage and/or add coverage for assets not previously covered but requiring coverage because the owner has died.
* Arrange for security of a decedent's homestead.
* Obtain and review income tax returns and other financial records.
* Maintain estate bank accounts and investments. Correspond with dividend disbursing agents.
* Determine when formal appraisals are necessary and arrange them accordingly.
* Make a preliminary analysis of assets held by the decedent for investment purposes, potential sale, liquidity needs,
and beneficiaries' needs.
* Draft distribution schedule and, as appropriate, coordinate and/or direct the distribution of assets.
* Maintain all estate records.
* Determine the documentation necessary to effect sale or transfer of probate and non-probate assets including real
estate, securities, bank accounts, other case earnings, promissory notes, mortgages, automobiles, and recreational vehicles.
* Draft individual, estate, fiduciary income, and gift tax returns.
* Analyze past tax returns and develop financial analyses and tax plans by considering state and federal estate, income,
and beneficiary individual income tax results.
* Obtain federal and state tax clearance to release any tax liabilities.
* Collect documentation for audits of tax returns.
* Draft all affidavits or statements filed with tax returns or submitted during audits.
* Review pertinent documents and conduct research relating to tax filings.
* Draft tax returns for non-probate estate.
* Draft final settlement and order for final distribution.
* Prepare miscellaneous petitions, such as application for spousal allowance or authority to erect grave marker.
* Ensure that assets are properly transferred to trust for adoptions (both private and agency).
* Draft petition for approval of wrongful death settlements, settlements to minors, and name changes (adults and minors).
* Coordinate with litigation counsel in connection with any pending lawsuits filed on behalf of deceased.
Note - Some of the information contained in the Domestic Relations/Family Law, Litigation, Real Estate and Tax sections
of this publication also includes work performed in the Probate/Estate Planning specialty area.