Estate planning in USA

Updated: Jul 10, 2018

Made estate planning simple for USA

Estate planning in USA

Where to start if someone dies?

There is big chunk of duties requirement that executors to follow for the deceased US citizen or deceased. Find below the outlined procedure in brief.

  1. Obtain the death certificate and complete the funeral of deceased.

  2. Executor to fill out Form 706 for decedents who died in 2016. Decedents who were neither U.S. citizens nor U.S. residents at the time of death, file Form 706-NA, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return. Refer to US Tax office for latest Form information, If you are dealing in different years than 2016.

  3. Obtain gross estate list includes all property in which the decedent had an interest (including real property outside the United States). It also includes: Certain transfers made during the decedent's life without an adequate and full consideration in money or money's worth, Annuities, The includible portion of joint estates with right of survivorship (see instructions for Schedule E), The includible portion of tenancies by the entirety (see instructions for Schedule E), Certain life insurance proceeds (even though payable to beneficiaries other than the estate and see instructions for Schedule D), Property over which the decedent possessed a general power of appointment, Dower or curtesy (or statutory estate) of the surviving spouse, and Community property to the extent of the decedent's interest as defined by applicable law.

  4. Collect the information about credits of transfers made by lifetime gift.

  5. Collect the information about Portability of Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion.

  6. Executor to pay the estate and GST taxes are due within 9 months approximately of the date of the decedent's death.

  7. Executor to file the final tax return which will includes certified copy of Will: If the decedent was a citizen or resident of the United States and died testate (leaving a valid will), attach a certified copy of the will to the return. If you cannot obtain a certified copy, attach a copy of the will and an explanation of why it is not certified. Other supplemental documents may be required as explained later. If the decedent was a U.S. citizen but not a resident of the United States then the requirements are different.

This is just brief overview of executor's duty. For more detailed information visit Internal Revenue Agency website and refer to Instructions for Form 706 Guide.


  1. Instructions for Form 706 Guide; Refer to Internal Revenue Agency website :

Due to the dynamic nature of tax laws, refer to Internal Revenue Office (IRS) website for most accurate information. The information provided here is compliant to the IRS Copyright terms and conditions. For more information, CLICK HERE.

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