How To Distribute Assets to Beneficiaries

In order to property distribute assets to the beneficiaries named in the will, you’ll need to set up a bank account in the name of the estate. The estate bank account will be the channel through which beneficiaries should receive their inheritances.

How to set up an estate bank account

In order to set up an estate bank account you will need a certified copy of the death certificate, Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration from the court, and an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. You can apply for an EIN here. You can set up an estate bank account at your bank, at the bank of the person who died, or at another bank. The bank will tell you what kind of forms you need to fill out in order to set up the account.

What an estate bank account will be used for

The estate bank account that you establish will be used to keep the estate's assets separate from the executor or administrator's assets. Any earnings, interest, or savings that the estate accrues will be held in the estate bank account. Any bills or dues that the estate must pay will be paid from the estate bank account. Any taxes that must be paid by the estate will come from the estate bank account. Any distributions that the estate will make to beneficiaries will come from the estate bank account.

Working with an attorney or an accountant

It may be helpful to work with an attorney and an accountant when distributing an estate’s assets in order to minimize taxes and make sure everything you’re doing is legally sound. An accountant can also help you set up the estate bank account and manage the funds in the account.

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