Trust Advice / Trustee Services

Accounting For Your Heirs

Settling an estate involves accounting to all heirs on the management of the estate’s assets. Every heir, legatee or distributee is entitled to an accounting of the estate assets before accepting the estate distribution. Most estates can settle with an informal accounting to all parties. Grimaldi & Yeung LLP will prepare this accounting, negotiate a settlement, and secure releases from each heir.

This can assure that the estate will be final and enable the executor to have peace of mind. If the estate cannot settle amicably using this informal process, we will prepare a judicial accounting which facilitates court approval of the actions and expenses incurred by the executor.

The court can mediate a settlement to the satisfaction of the estate and all the parties. Our firm will represent the executor in this court proceeding and prepare all required documents.

Paying Taxes

The expression, “the only thing that is certain is death and taxes” certainly applies to estate administration. A central part of settling an estate is to satisfy all tax liabilities of the decedent and the estate. Grimaldi & Yeung LLP will calculate tax payments in the most advantageous way.

We will work with the family tax accountant to file the decedent’s final income tax return. In addition, we will assist the executor in analyzing assets for potential capital gains tax implications to help decide whether to liquidate assets. Finally, our firm will calculate the estate tax liability on the decedent’s estate. The federal and state estate tax rules are based on legislation, and are therefore subject to change.

Federal estate tax is set by law. Although the rate varies from year to year, it is typically quite high on non-exempted assets (often up to 50%). New York State sets its own exemption, which has frequently been lower than the federal amount, so NYS estate tax is sometimes due, even when no federal estate tax is.