Estate settlement is the legal process of settling the personal and financial affairs of someone who has died. By serving as executor of your estate, our experienced Estate Settlement team can ensure your assets are distributed per your wishes, with the utmost sensitivity, efficiency, and privacy.
Estate Settlement Timeline
- Within the first month
- Schedule meeting with family/beneficiaries, Financial Advisor and Baird Trust Team
- Establish a communication plan that keeps beneficiaries well informed throughout the process
- Contact the attorney to start the probate process, if applicable
- Contact tax advisor to discuss personal and fiduciary income tax returns and schedule for estate and gift tax filings
- Notify the IRS of executor and/or trustee appointment
- Notify the USPS to have mail forwarded
- Secure home (if applicable)
- Coordinate with an insurance agent to have the home, vehicles and other assets properly insured
- Within the second month
- Obtain asset and debt information from family, advisors and/or third parties
- Contact utilities and creditors and change names on accounts
- 3 to 6 months
- Appraise and value all estate/trust assets
- Generate cash for payment of specific bequests, taxes, debts and administration expenses
- Distribute tangible personal property
- Check for unclaimed property
- Arrange periodic distribution of income to residuary beneficiaries
- 7 to 9 months
- Finalize all information needed for estate/inheritance tax purposes
- File estate/inheritance tax returns or make the decision to extend the filing deadline of these returns
- Examine the availability and appropriateness of making postmortem tax elections and disclaimers
- 10 to 12 months
- Pay specific bequests (if creditor’s claim period has expired)
- File the decedent’s final personal income tax returns or make the decision to extend the returns
- Create a reserve fund for taxes and expenses
- Make partial distribution to residuary beneficiaries
- 13 months and beyond
- File fiduciary income tax returns
- Obtain estate/inheritance tax clearance letters
- Close estate with probate court
- Make final distribution to residuary beneficiaries
Estate settlement necessarily happens at a very sensitive time in your life, which is why Baird Trust’s professionals go the extra mile to ensure that all your needs are taken care of, both emotionally and financially. In this video, the Baird Trust estate settlement team explains the process of settling an estate and why everyone will eventually need an executor to handle their affairs.
How Baird Trust Can Help
Baird Trust can serve as the appointed executor or as the agent for an appointed individual executor to settle the affairs of the deceased. In this role, our team secures the decedent’s assets, assists the estate’s attorney in preparing legal and tax documents, and distributes the estate assets.
Baird’s Estate Planning team can work with you to help safeguard your assets, mitigate the impact of taxation and ensure that your estate provides long-term financial support and peace of mind for the people and causes closest to you. Your Baird estate planner can also coordinate with your outside counsel and accountants to develop strategies designed to protect and distribute your wealth.
The trustee – and eventually, the successor trustee - assume responsibility for all the assets held in a particular trust.
While an individual trustee may be more familiar with family dynamics, a corporate trustee has significant advantages as well.