The following is a general description of the steps, and the timing of the steps, usually needed for the administration of an estate.
I. GENERAL DUTIES-The general duties of a personal representative or administrator of an estate are to:
A. Collect the assets of the estate.
B. Pay debts and taxes owed by the decedent or the estate.
C. Distribute the estate in accordance with the will (or, if there is no will, in accordance with the laws of intestacy).
II. INITIAL TASKS-Shortly after death, it is usually necessary to:
A. Arrange for the funeral (if there is no surviving husband or wife, children, or other next of kin).
B. If there is an unoccupied residence, make sure that it and any valuables in or around it are secure.
C. Arrange for the probate of the will (or the grant of letters of administration if there is no will) with the probate court.
III. WITHIN THREE MONTHS OF DEATH
A. Notify banks, employers, insurance companies, stock brokers, and others of the death, and begin identifying assets and liabilities of the decedent.
B. If appropriate, arrange for the decedent’s mail to be forwarded.
C. Send required written notices to beneficiaries under the will and to heirs at law, with certification to the probate court.
IV. WITHIN SIX MONTHS OF DEATH
A. Estimate cash needed to pay debts and taxes, and plan for any sales of assets needed to distribute the estate.
B. Marshall all intangible personal property and all Kansas tangible personal property owned by the decedent
V. WITHIN NINE MONTHS OF DEATH
A. Prepare and file Kansas Estate tax return (if needed).
B. Prepare and file federal estate tax return (if needed).
C. Prepare and file any other death tax returns needed for property located in other states.
VI. OTHER TASKS
A. Prepare and file the decedent’s final lifetime income tax returns, federal and state (due on April 15 of the year following death).
B. Publish notice of filing petition within ten days of filing a petition for administration or probate of the will.
C. Prepare and file inventory of the estate with the probate court within thirty days from the date of the letters of appointment of the personal representative.
D. During the administration of an estate, federal and state income tax returns must be filed showing the income and expenses of the estate.
VII. DISTRIBUTION OF ESTATE-The distribution of assets from the estate is usually concluded after the death taxes have been settled. Depending on the circumstances, distributions can be carried out:
A. After an accounting and schedule of distribution has been filed in court and approved by the court.
B. After waiver and consent has been signed by all beneficiaries, and approved by the court.
C. Before final settlement, limited partial distribution of assets are sometimes allowed with receipt from the beneficiary, if court approval is obtained.
VIII. FINAL FILINGS-Once the administration of an estate has been completed and the assets have been distributed:
A. Final federal and state income tax returns may be filed.
B. Notice should be given to the probate court through a status report.
The use of this report or calling Gary D. Rappard’s office to request a copy of this report does not create an attorney-client relationship between the user and Gary D. Rappard or his Law Firm. The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended to indicate what the results will be in your Kansas or Missouri case. Any examples discussed in this report are not a guarantee of your outcome if we represent you. All cases are unique, and favorable factors in one case or one jurisdiction may not apply or be available in another case or jurisdiction. The contents of this report do not constitute legal advice. The information provided herein cannot substitute for consulting with an attorney who is knowledgeable and proficient in the law. The description and interpretation of the laws and procedures are subject to change. The facts of your case may require a different analysis of the law. You should consult with Mr. Rappard before reaching conclusions so that your unique facts can be applied to the law in effect at the time. Although we will make every attempt to keep the information in this report current, we do not promise or guarantee that the information is correct, complete, or up-to-date. Laws of states other than Missouri or Kansas may be stricter or different than the state laws described herein. Many laws are state-specific. Gary D. Rappard only practices in the states of Kansas and Missouri. You should not rely on this information without seeking the advice of a licensed attorney in your state.
Gary D. Rappard Attorney at Law © 2006