I've just become an administrator (and one of the 3 beneficiaries) of a small estate. It's one bank account producing no income. The small catch here is that this is a part of a larger foreign estate of a foreign resident with foreign assets and - mostly - foreign heirs. The bulk of it was probated long time ago and assets distributed. However, since our family gets along well, we decided that for simplicity's sake the US bank account would go to me and I let them collect whatever was located abroad.
I'm pretty much ready to close the estate here. Here are the questions:
1) I called IRS and they claim, that even though there will be no taxes due,
I still need to file 1041 AND obtain Tax ID #s for the non-resident aliens (that's the reason and huge pain considering that all ID docs will have to be translated. notarized and legalized for US). However IRS does not care about the legal issues concerning the will and since the estate produces no income and I had no plans of wiring anything abroad then perhaps I don't need to file anything? It's way below 1 million mark anyway.
2) the court was pretty vague about it but all they seem to require are standard Refunding Bond and Release forms, signed by beneficiaries and notarized - I'm almost done with that. Is that correct or do they have a long list of other paperwork requirements - and especially do they need to see any tax documents or accounting sheets.. etc. And do they issue a document stating the estate is closed? That wasn't clear to me.
3) wouldn't it make everything simpler if the other heirs came up with some kind of renunciation document? Ie: "we see that we inherited something, but we're fine with so-and-so keeping the whole thing". Or is it already considered a gift?