Checklist - Personal Representative

The following checklist is a general probate checklist for personal representatives. It should not be considered exhaustive and is not intended as legal advice. It is an ideal checklist to be used when meeting with the attorney you select to represent the estate in probate.


Notify close friends and familyFirst Week
Notify employerFirst Week
Secure assetsFirst Week
Arrange funeralFirst Week
Order death certificatesFirst Week
Retain attorneyFirst Month
Submit will to courtFirst Month
Cancel unneeded servicesFirst Month
Request Employer Identification Number (EIN)First Month
Notify Social SecurityFirst Month
Determine heirsFirst 3 Months
Start probate process if required/desiredFirst 3 Months
Notify heirsFirst 3 Months
Establish family allowance if applicableFirst 3 Months
Forward mailFirst 3 Months
Notify life insurance companiesFirst 3 Months
Notify IRAs and similar beneficiary accountsFirst 3 Months
Notify other agencies (DMV, etc.)First 3 Months
Notify extended acquaintancesFirst 3 Months
File IRS Form S6First 3 Months
Open estate bank accountFirst 3 Months
Inventory assetsFirst 3 Months
Publish notice of deathFirst 3 Months
Debt claims deadline expiredASAP
Inventory debtsASAP
Determine estate solvencyASAP
Resolve debtsASAP
Plan asset allocationASAP
Pay local property taxesASAP
Provide Schedule K-1 to any trust beneficiariesCalendar Year
Submit final decedent income tax forms (1040)Calendar Year
Submit estate income tax forms (1041)Calendar Year
Deal with state filingsCalendar Year
Submit personal liability discharge (5495)Calendar Year
Submit estate tax form (706) if needed9 Months
Submit federal heir forms (8971) if needed10 Months
Receive federal estate tax closing letter (627) if needed15 Months
Make all distributionsASAP
Compensate executorASAP
Submit probate final accountingASAP
Submit probate closing statementASAP
Close estate bank accountASAP