When people agree to be a personal representative for the estate of a loved one in New Jersey they probably do not know everything that it entails. They may know at a basic level that they will be responsible for administering the estate to ensure that the beneficiaries receive their inheritance, but they may not know how to go about it.
Even if the deceased had a will, the estate must still go through the probate process. During this process, one responsibility of the personal representative is to ensure that monthly bills and other obligations are taken care of. Personal representatives cannot just take over the deceased’s current bank accounts in order to do this. They must set up bank accounts specifically for the estate.
Steps to opening a bank account for an estate
There is a process to doing this. First the personal representative needs to obtain a copy of the death certificate. After that, they can open the probate action. Once probate is started, a judge can name them as personal representatives, which gives the authority to do many things on behalf of the estate including setting up bank accounts.
After they have been named as personal representatives, they need to obtain a taxpayer ID number which is commonly referred to as an EIN. This can be done relatively easily on the IRS website. Once they have an EIN for the estate, they can then go to the bank and go through the bank’s requirements for opening a bank account.
Opening a bank account for the estate is important for the personal representative to be able to carry out their responsibilities to the estate in New Jersey. Opening the bank account is just the start of the process though and the personal representative has many duties after that. It is important to understand all of the responsibilities and consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.