General Duties of a Legal Assistant in Probate and Estate Planning

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General Duties of a Legal Assistant in Probate and Estate Planning
Value assets (date of death and alternate valuation date)
Collect information and/or assets for preparation of inventory and tax returns
Order public records including birth, death, and marriage certificates
Publish appropriate notices to interested persons
Locate and notify heirs and devisees of probate proceeding
Locate witnesses to will
Prepare and maintain a calendar system
Answer questions from personal representative, surviving spouse and other interested parties
Meet with client and attorney at initial meeting
Prepare and transmit necessary papers to transfer/liquidate assets including stock, real estate and motor vehicles
Apply for employer identification number and file notices of fiduciary relationship
Interpret will provisions
Correspond with debtors and creditors to obtain pertinent information
Prepare disallowance of claims against the estate and monitor claims including court files
Prepare and file claims for insurance proceeds and death benefits
Maintain financial records of estate
Handle matters re ancillary administrations
Draft inventory, arrange for and attend inventory of safe deposit box
Draft accountings
Draft petitions and orders for partial distribution
Arrange for tax releases and payment of taxes
Prepare state and federal fiduciary income tax returns
Draft federal and state gift tax returns
Prepare decedent's final federal and state individual income tax returns
Prepare individual income tax returns for beneficiaries
Prepare state inheritance tax return and federal estate tax return
Prepare preliminary income projection and estimate taxes
Prepare and record powers of attorney
Draft documents necessary to fund trusts
Draft wills, codicils, trust agreements and amendments
Prepare tax calculations for various estate plans
Collect data for estate planning including current estate plans and assets
Draft tax returns for nonprobate estate
Review documents and tax returns in connection with an ancillary proceeding
Draft distribution schedule and closing documents
Assist in audit of tax returns including correspondence, affidavits and statements submitted upon audit
Make post-mortem tax planning calculations
Draft court documents for guardianships
Draft antenuptial agreements
Draft federal and state tax returns for conservatorship
Draft inventory and accountings for conservatorship
Draft court documents for conservatorship

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