How do you determiner whether an EIN is for an estate or trust?

My sister-in-law passed away 11/13. On 11/24 I took her living trust and a certified copy of her death certificate to the bank so I could start paying bills, etc. (I’m the trustee). I got a call from the bank yesterday asking for an EIN because they will no longer accept her SSN. I went to the IRS site to obtain one, but I don’t know which box to check. Estate or Trust?

Asked on December 7, 2010 under Estate Planning, Missouri


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If this was a living trust, you should pick trust.  Further, you should also contact the telephone number usually listed for you in the directions/instructions pages for the particular form about which you have a question.  You will find a lot of your questions can be answered by simply calling the telephone number.  If you are the trustee, you need to ensure not to waste trust assets since you have a fiduciary responsibility to the trust and other beneficiaries.  Consider meeting with counsel regarding trust issues and having a meeting with beneficiaries to discuss any concerns you may have with instructions from the trust, like immediate gifts versus long term investments.

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