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Trustee is claiming that the Personal Rep of father's will can NOT prepare the final tax returns?

Silver Spring, MD |

I am the Personal Rep for my fathers will. My brother is Trustee for his Trust. His lawyer
is claiming that I can not prepare the inheritance tax form and final 1040 return. I have been the person helping my father with all his returns and financial work for 38 years. When he got sick last Sept, he was convinced by my brother to change the Trustee position to his name.
Now there is tension! between the 4 adult siblings. I have the Fed Id number for his new Estate trust but are there other forms that need to be filed with IRS? And how can his attorney even suggest that I can't prepare these forms? And if he has his CPA prepare the Trust 1041, should I be able to view it before it's mailed in? Thanks

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Attorney answers 2


You have three different tax returns that need to be filed. You have the final 1040 for your father. You have the 1041 for the estate, and you have the 1041 for the trust. As personal representative, you certainly are the only person in position to file for the estate. You would probably also be the authorized party to file your father's final return. The trust return would be the responsibility of the trustee. I do not see any harm in your reviewing the form ahead of time, but the trustee would not be obligated to provide it to you ahead of time.

Given the situation with your brother, you definitely need to hire a lawyer to assist you.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


I agree with Attorney Frederick's answer on the number of tax returns and who is responsible for filing them. Your MD attorney can send everyone a letter of explanation.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.