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How Do I Set up an Estate Account?

My mother passed away and left me an account for $25,000, but the bank says I have to set up an estate account. They said I need a tax id number. How do I go about getting this account up and running?


Only the executor or administrator of the deceased's estate can open an estate account. If your mother left a Will, and the probate court allows it, you or the individual named in the will can be named executor. If there is no acceptable Will, someone will be named administrator. The executor or administrator then applies for and obtains a taxpayer ID number (TIN) for the estate from the IRS. That can be done online.

With an original of his/her appointment and the new TIN in hand, the executor or administrator then goes to a bank to open an estate account. The bank may also require a copy of your mother's death certificate. Assuming that you fill the executor/administrator role, keep the account open for a while until you are sure you've done everything to complete the settlement of your mother's estate, and make sure that you complete whatever paperwork, etc., that the court requires.

Published on 3/19/09