Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hello there --
You must first take the will to probate court and start probate proceedings so that all of your mother's wishes will be carried out. If there are no provisions in the will or trust documents to turn the living trust into a pour over testamentary trust (used in estate proceedings), then you have to declare the living trust as part of your mother's estate to the probate court and the probate court will then decide whether this trust can simply be converted to an estate trust w/ checking account or if you need to close the account and open up a completely separate account to deal with estate matters for your mother's probate proceedings. My suggestion right now is to do nothing until after you open an estate proceeding and then inform the court of the existence of the checking account and that it was a living trust while Mom was alive and the court will further instruct you regarding how they wish the account to be handled at that point. Even if it becomes the estate checking account, unless your mother's estate was worth several million dollars there will be no estate taxes at the federal or state levels in any event and so a EIN number is ***** really necessary in the end for reporting to the IRS and federal government.
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