SIGNIFICANT DATES AND DEADLINES

A timetable of events in every plan for administering an estate is dictated in part by statutory filingperiods within which tax and non-tax events must occur.  At a minimum, the events will include thefollowing items that should take place within the periods shown:

Appearance at Surrogate's office to probate Will
Any time after death, but letters may not be issued sooner than 10 days after death (except when there is no Will then five days after death is the required time lapse)
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Marshalling of debts and assets; preparation of calendar for administration; obtaining appraisals
Immediately after letters are issued (acts of fiduciary before Letters issued, if in good faith are permissible)
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Notice of Will to interested parties
No later than 60 days after probate
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Completion of post-mortem tax analysis (subject to Later revisions)
5th to 7th month after death
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Communications to beneficiaries regarding all steps to be taken in administration
Throughout administration
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Surviving spouse's or domestic partner's right to file for elective share expires
6 months after appointment of personal representative (may be extended by court order only)
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Alternate valuation of assets
6 months after death
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Filing of New Jersey inheritance tax return with request for waivers and payment of direct tax
Before 8 months after death
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Filing and service of disclaimers
Before 9 months after death
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Filing decedent’s final income tax return
By April 15th of the year following the year of death
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Filing of Federal Estate Tax return and payment of tax
Before 9 months after death
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Distribution of tangible personal property
As soon as practical
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Distribution of specific bequests
Within one year if feasible to avoid interest
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Distribution of income and remainder
Based on post-mortem tax plan
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Closing of Federal estate tax proceedings
On audit
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Closing of New Jersey proceedings; payment of compromise tax, if any
On audit
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Payment of New Jersey estate tax, if any
Before 8 months after death
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Filing of fiduciary income tax returns (State and Federal)
If estate’s tax year is calendar year then by April 15th of the year following death.  If estate elects a fiscal year, then within three and one-half months of end of fiscal year.
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Final accounting, including formal or informal approvals
When all above are complete
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Payments on account of fees and commissions
Based on post-mortem tax plan except that amount of commissions which can be paid prior to the approval of the accounting is limited by statute.
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Perform Child Support Judgment Search on each beneficiary
Before distribution of balance of residue to beneficiaries
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Distribution of balance of residue; payment of balance of fees and commissions
When accounting approved
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Filing of Release and refunding bond (available at stationery stores) and filed in Surrogate's Court
At completion of administration of the estate and distribution of all assets
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