Monday, October 31, 2011
So, you've been named a personal representative of an estate. You've found the will, met with an attorney, had them file the paperwork with the court and received your letters testamentary. You've gone to the bank to set up an account for the estate and the bank asks for an EIN number. What the heck? First of all, an EIN number, or "employer identification number" is the equivalent of social security numbers for entities, like businesses or estates. Obtaining an EIN number is free, easy and fast. The Internal Revenue Service issues EINs online at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html . Upon entering the requested information, including the social security number of the decedent and your own social security number, you'll immediately be issued an EIN. Once you receive the EIN, let your probate attorney know and give them the number for their records. Unlike a lot of things with probate, this is an issue that can be resolved immediately and at no cost.