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How to Settle a Client's Estate (SEAZ)

  • Format Self-Study Download
  • Credits 10.00
  • Level Basic
  • Field of Study Taxes (Technical) (10)

Overview

Federal estate and gift taxes currently affect few clients, but there are many other issues involved in settling an estate or administering a trust. Clients who are beneficiaries of a trust or estate often turn to their financial advisors to understand the administrative process and its effect on their interests. This course enables the accountant to cut through the jargon to understand the legal concepts, communicate a real-world explanation to clients, and serve, in some instances, as an advisor to them. After taking this course, practitioners will feel more confident to serve in a fiduciary capacity. Updated for developments relative to estate taxation.



Major Topics:

  • Issues involved when settling an estate – marshaling of assets, payment of creditors, & distribution and accounting to beneficiaries
  • Explaining the needs and limitations of durable powers of attorney, health care directives, and living wills
  • Why a will is probated, and on what grounds it may be challenged
  • Comprehensive checklists on how to read a will, duties of an executor and trustee, and much more
  • Identification and report of estate assets
  • What to do and what not to do as a fiduciary, executor, or trustee – duty of care, investment, informing, payment of debts and taxes, & defending a will contest
  • How executors and trustees interact with beneficiaries
  • Elective shares, and when a spouse might make that choice
  • What a trustee needs to know about incompetents and minors
  • Rights of creditors, third parties, and beneficiaries
  • Key issues in transferring property to a trust and from a trust or estate to a beneficiary
  • Identifying income, estate, and inheritance taxes
  • Fiduciary accounting – principal and income concepts
  • An introduction to drafting an account, and why it is relevant
  • Administration of revocable trusts
  • Estate basis reporting

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how creditors’ claims impact a beneficiary’s claims
  • Understand the key provisions in a will or trust
  • Understand the duties of an executor or trustee in relation to beneficiaries and other third parties
  • Identify trusts, wills, and other documents encountered, & their uses
  • Understand the stages of an estate administration including costs, collections, payment of debts/taxes, & distribution to beneficiaries
  • Be aware of the duties a fiduciary and members of the estate planning team owe to creditors, beneficiaries, and the courts

Who should take this course:

CPAs who wish to assist in settlement of an estate, regardless of size

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