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Do you need an Employer Identification Number to settle an estate?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2023 | Estate Administration & Probate |

It often surprises executors completing their duties on a Washington estate after a person’s death that they need an Employer Identification Number. According to the Internal Revenue Service, as soon as a person dies, their Social Security number ceases to exist. Therefore, executors usually must file for an Employer Identification Number to file state and federal tax forms.

When is an Employer Identification Number required to settle an estate?

Almost all estates will need an Employer Identification Number for various reasons. This is particularly true if the person received wages after their death. It is also true if they received royalties, money from commissions or some other form of payment after they died. If every asset was not covered in a trust, a number must be obtained before being disposed of properly.

Where do you get an Employer Identification Number?

Getting an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service on their website is a simple process during estate administration. You must know the location of the person who died primary residence to complete the form, and it must be completed in one setting without 15 minutes of continuous inactivity. When asked about the type of trust, you should answer irrevocable trust since the person has already passed.

Does an executor have to file federal income tax returns in the estate’s name?

The executor must file at least one federal income tax return in the estate’s name. If the estate must go through probate and takes over a year to settle, the executor may have to file more than one return.

Executors must obtain an Employer Identification number from the Internal Revenue Service as part of their duties to settle most estates.