Throughout the entire probate process, it is important for the personal representative to keep accurate records. Record keeping is of extreme importance in order to make sure the estate is handled correctly and all assets are accounted for and properly valued. It can be difficult to keep organized and thorough records, but our attorneys are here to help make the process easier.
Shortly after probate is initiated, the personal representative should set up an estate bank account. This will require obtaining a tax identification number from the IRS. This tax ID will take the place of the decedent’s social security number, and the estate will become liable for all of the decedent’s taxes. By establishing this bank account, the personal representative can better keep track of the assets and handle any required taxes.
During the probate process, there will be a lot of deposits and expenses that the personal representative must track. There are many bills that must be paid, and it is up to the personal representative to decide when to pay which bills. Minnesota law does dictate the order of some bills, and good record keeping helps make sure that everything is paid on time and according to schedule.
The records the personal representative keeps during the probate process will be used for tax purposes and ultimately for closing the estate. If the records are incomplete or inaccurate, this may delay the transfer of assets and leave the estate open longer than planned.
Another responsibility of the personal representative is protecting all of the assets of the estate. Protecting the estate includes but is not limited to covering all expenses, such as:
- Maintaining insurance on real estate and vehicles;
- Making mortgage and utility payments;
- Cancelling credit cards and subscriptions;
- Seeking refunds when necessary; and
- Paying interest on outstanding debt
In order to make the probate process as efficient as possible, it is important to keep good records throughout. An experienced Minnesota probate attorney can assist with this process to make sure you are able to close the estate in a timely fashion.
Keeping accurate and thorough records is an essential part of the probate process. Our attorneys have represented thousands of clients since 1998. We can show you the best methods for keeping records that are in compliance with Minnesota’s probate laws. Contact the Brown Law Offices, P.A. at 763-323-6555 for a free consultation.
Find out more about probate in Minnesota by reading Probate Process Step 4: Creditor Claims