ESTATE ADMINISTRATION: DOCUMENTATION, DOCUMENTATION, DOCUMENTATION!

ESTATE ADMINISTRATION: What You Need to Know About Documentation

Estate Administration is an emotional roller coaster and, quite honestly, it entails a lot of time, energy, patience and flexibility.  It doesn’t give you very much time to grieve either; however, that is why we are here to help assist you with the process. Deadlines will quickly approach.  That is why it is very important you schedule a consultation as soon as possible after your loved one passes away. Things will be thoroughly discussed during that consultation; however, we recognize that your emotions are at an all-time high, your head may be spinning, and you may feel sick to your stomach. Don’t worry, we are here to help you. All of this information will be spelled out in a letter for you, which you can continuously refer through-out the entire process. This is important documentation you should keep in a safe but easily accessible place.

DOCUMENTATION.  Do you really need that?  Yes, it is required by the Department of Revenue when the final Inheritance Tax Return has to be submitted for their review.  You have to attach documentation along with the final Inheritance Tax Return. Think of it as the same process as when you pay your bills.  You either receive an invoice via mail or via online and you either write a check or schedule that amount online to be withdrawn from your bank account.  Either way, there is some sort of paper trail for your own finances. The same applies when you are handling the Estate Administration. Easy, right? It is also the same as your personal Income Taxes.  It is recommended you keep them for at least seven (7) years. Well, the same pertains to Estate Administration paperwork/documentation. As long as the Estate is open, you need to keep all documentation in a safe place.  Keep records of ALL receipts, invoices, bills, correspondence, etc. You never know when the Department of Revenue will inquire for more information and you certainly don’t want to give them a reason for such an inquiry.

Since every penny going in and out of the Estate account must be accounted for, it is highly suggested the Personal Representative, Executor or Administrator of the Estate maintain scrupulous record keeping of all monies within that Estate Account.  This record keeping includes copies of invoices, checks, check registers, and monthly copies of the Estate bank statements. These documents will be requested by the Attorney handling the Estate for the preparation of the Inheritance Tax Return. Without documentation (proof), you are risking the final Inheritance Tax Return being rejected or additional information required before the Return will be accepted.

With that being said, less documentation translates to a longer and more difficult Estate Administration process. This also means a longer wait time for the heirs to receive their final distributions to which they are entitled, along with possible accruing interest from the Department of Revenue if the payment of Inheritance Tax is not timely.

For those in need of an Attorney in York Pa for Estate Administration, we are sorry for your loss.  We invite you to call us at 717-846-8846 or 717-235-6133 for a consultation so that we can compassionately and professionally assist you in the process.

Written By:  Nicole Tapias, Support Professional  

As Reviewed By:  William F. Hoffmeyer, Esquire

© Copyright by Hoffmeyer & Semmelman LLC,  February 2019