Do I need to get a probatelawyer to handle letters of administration from the court and letter of notification from the IRS?

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Do I need to get a probatelawyer to handle letters of administration from the court and letter of notification from the IRS?

My mother died and had money in a retirement fund that my father left her. The fund wants letters of administration from the court identifying the executor/administrator of the estate and a letter of notification from the IRS indication the TIN (taxpayer identification number). My mother and father had Wills and family trust. My mother did not have a beneficiary for the money in the fund. In Orange County, CA.

Asked on October 21, 2010 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Although there is no law that says you have to hire an attorney, it appears here that it may be a good idea with all the estate planning that went on.  The Wills need to be probated and the executors appointed and the trust assets dealt with.  The executor and the trustee can deal with the retirement fund.  Since it appears that there was no beneficiary it will have to be made payable to the estate.  The beneficiary should have been the trust.  That will cause the estate to have to probate the asset (unless of course there is a pour over will involved where the will pours the assets not listed as being part of the trust in to the trust).  See? you may need help here.  Good luck.


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