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I looking for the rule or law that states that a Personal Rep.for a will has the duty to prepare the tax returns!

Silver Spring, MD |

I am the Pers. Rep of my fathers will. Most assets were in his trust
or passed to the Trust from the will. My brother, Trustee of the Successor Trust,thinks he has the "right" to prepare ALL returns, but from my research I have not found any rules or laws that say that I, as the Pers Rep and responsible for ALL the Estate, can not prepare the Estate and final 1040 returns. He can prepare the Trust 1041. I have been working with my father since 1974 on his financial work so I have the knowledge.
And my brother has NOT given out any financial statements or docs since the end of June and we (4 total children as heirs) have the right to view all docs and the HUD for the sale of his home. Isn't this illegal to deny giving us this information?
I already have a probate lawyer but I need answers!

This should be a fairly simple answer - where are the laws/rules about this issue located? Nothing appears on the Register of Wills site relating to Trusts. IS there a MD CODE for this type of transactions and procedures? Thanks...

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Attorney answers 4


Since you are represented you must confer with your attorney.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:


It could be that you may need a different probate lawyer if you are not happy, but there could be a very good reason why the attorney is not citing code sections for you. It sounds like this would merely encourage you to play detective. You should just ask your attorney for the answer to your questions such as what your rights are to obtain the information you are trying to obtain from your brother, etc. You say you have an attorney, but it also sounds like you are doing a lot of this research yourself. Not sure if that makes a lot of sense.

Christopher Larson
Insight Law

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Both attorneys offer sound advice. The real question is why would either one of you prepare such returns. CPAs or the estates attorney should be preparing these returns.
Anyway, the answer here is that it is your duty to make sure that the estate returns and final income tax returns are prepared. You have the power under law to delegate this task to a trained professional and you should do so as there are elections and choices and some tricky rules in this area. If your brother is trustee of a funded trust he has like responsibilities to have such return prepared. You should also note that there are some special elections involved where there is a trust and estate involved. Stop messing around in an area way beyond your level of knowledge and required expertise and get an expert to assist you.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website is and his blog is <> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


If you have an attorney you should ask your attorney. If you are not getting answers to your questions from your attorney or you don't trust your attorney you should find one you do trust and hire him or her.

Read the instructions for the various tax returns you mention. They are available on the IRS and Maryland Comptroller websites and will instruct who may file returns on behalf of a decedent.

Any answer provided in this forum is not offered as legal advice upon which you can rely without further discussion of the facts and circumstances of the particular situation. Sometimes things you may think are unimportant (and you don't disclose them in your posting) may make a big difference in correctly analyzing the issue. There is no substitution for a one-on-one consultation with an attorney, and you should not take this answer as such.

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