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Federal Estate Tax Return (706)

Detroit, MI |

I have an estate that is several years old and my attorney is trying to order the 706 to see what assets the decedent have at death. Does the IRS keep records on Microfiche for several years, if a judge ask for those records? Who would have a copy of the 706? Who is entitled to see the 706 other than the personal representative? Are the beneficiaries of the estate entitled to request or view the 706? How can I get a copy of the 706, other than going through the personal representative. The personal representative has a conflict of interest with the beneficiaries. She has not given the beneficiaries any accounting or telling them what werei the assets in estate/trust.

Attorney Answers 2

  1. This is a great question that I hope someone who is on AVVO can answer. I do not know about this specific situation but I would advise generally: My first place would be in fact asking the personal representative. If she will not produce it to you, you will have to go to court to have the accounting ordered by law and perhaps a copy can be produced at that time. If you get an accounting that should suffice to answer most of your questions about the disposition of the assets from death to present. The IRS does keep records of filed returns typically for at least 10 years. It is possible to request a paper copy of tax returns and I have done so on many occasions but sometimes the records are poor and the returns get lost.

    One question: If she hasn't given an accounting and the estate is "several years old" why did you wait so long?

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. In addition to the previous response, you are likely going to need to deal with the statute of limitations. Depending on the type of estate, it may be as little as one year after that date of closing. Several years may be far too long to contest this. Beyond that, even if you were successful and you determine that there were improprieties, you may not be able to actually *collect* anything, at this late point. One of the first questions you will need to address, even if you are within the statutory period, will be "why did you wait so long?"

    James Frederick