Professional estate and tax advice should be sought as soon as possible, as some tax requirements arise for the personal representative within a short time after death (usually between 9 and 15 months). There is no substitute for timely and expert legal advice.
The personal representative is responsible for filing the deceased’s final income tax return, due April 15th in the year following the year of death, and may be held liable for taxes due from estate assets. Timely action may also include appraisal of properties as proof of value.
In addition to tax returns for the deceased, the personal representative must file income tax returns for the estate, if the estate earns income beyond the death of the deceased. A federal employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS may be required for accounts opened by the personal representative in the name of the estate at financial institutions. This EIN will also be used on tax returns filed by the personal representative for the estate.