Trust & Estates
If you have been named as the personal representative or executor for a deceased individual’s trust or estate, you have been entrusted with implementing and carrying out the decedent’s wishes through their will or trust. In some cases, the decedent may have passed away without a will, but you are the closest relative. In any case, the probate courts no longer require the probate estate to have an attorney, but allow the personal representative/executor to fulfill his/her duties and report to the court on forms the probate office provides. With or without a trust document or a will, you will need a tax professional to assist in preparing tax returns related to those activities. There may be a final personal return (Form 1040) to be filed with income from the 1st day of the taxable year until the date of death. And then a return for the trust or estate called a Form 1041, accounting for income and expenses after the date of death. Depending upon the size of the estate, there may be an estate return where in the assets of the estate require a “death tax” to be paid. I work with the representative to do full accounting for the tax returns from the inventory of assets, the income and expenses, the tax and the distribution of beneficiaries, which are the required methodology for reporting to the tax authorities. I speak in plain, straight, easy to understand terms, so that what may seem to be a difficult task, is a one step at a time process. The wishes of the decedent are uppermost. Their passing deserves the utmost respect and those they have left behind deserve compassion during a difficult time. I have completed tax returns for estates in Wisconsin and other states since 1988 and can assist with the tax rules and returns as well as answer your questions for the tax departments and probate forms.