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Can folks recommend a good estate accountant?
*Sigh*. Okay, I should have dealt with this six months ago, but life has been crazy. Suffice it to say, I thought I had a plan, which has turned out to be inoperative.

I am in need of a good accountant ASAP, probably for the next two years -- I'm specifically looking for someone who is experienced with estate law. The immediate need is, of course, to help me with the taxes. It isn't so much that the numbers are complicated as that my situation is unusual, and I have little faith that TurboTax can cope with it. I need to understand things like how to handle Jane's life insurance; what to do about the (very large) payments I made for her final health and funeral bills (which I believe will *eventually* get repaid from the estate, but I don't know whether I should be accounting for them this year); and perhaps most important, what to do about the estate itself given that it is still in legal limbo, with me having no power to manage it yet. (I believe its formal income this year should be small, but it's all horribly weird since I haven't been able to actually deposit any of the checks it has received.)

Also, in the medium term, I'll hopefully finally be appointed administrator of the estate -- at which point I need to understand my legal obligations in considerable detail, especially with regard to how to manage it during the process.

So: anybody got a recommendation? It would be much appreciated...

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Thanks. The legal advice per se isn't an issue -- I sort of inherited Joan Fischer, who was Jane's lawyer in her final days, and we've been working closely together for some months. But the accountant she had recommended to me just retired...

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That's the thing -- she *did* have someone she was used to working with. That's the one who just retired. She's checking to see if he has any specific recommendations, but in the meantime I'm looking into it myself...

The Executor's Handbook was a good place to start for me. There should be a copy in your local library. If you were in New Jersey, I would be recommending Paul Abrams of Abrams and McKeever as an accountant.

If your state has some kind of legal directory, as New Jersey does, I would suggest going there to find a decent estate lawyer if you need one.

Interesting -- I'll look up the Handbook. Thanks!

I'll second the recommendation for the Executor's Handbook. It was a huge help to me when my mother passed away a few years ago. It doesn't replace a lawyer, but it gave me enough understanding of the big picture to use the lawyer effectively, and to know what to ask.

I'd happily recommend my accountant, but he's in NH, which I think would probably not be useful to you. If you think otherwise, drop me a note.

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