Most Estates Need an EIN
Most estates will need to obtain an employer identification number (EIN)—the same thing as a taxpayer identification number (TIN)— from the IRS. The EIN is required in several situations:
- You will need to provide the EIN to the bank when setting up the estate checking account.
- You will need to provide the EIN to the insurance company when claiming life insurance proceeds that are payable to the estate.
- You will need to provide the EIN to brokerages when liquidating or transferring brokerage accounts.
- You will need to provide the EIN to the IRS and to the Virginia Department of Taxation when filing tax returns on behalf of the estate.
Obtaining an EIN is FREE
You can obtain an EIN for the estate for free. To quote from the IRS website:
Applying for an EIN is a free service offered by the Internal Revenue Service. Beware of websites on the Internet that charge for this free service.
Please see the IRS website for instructions on how to apply for an EIN. Generally, the IRS website will provide you with the EIN instantly when you submit the online application. If you need assistance with the application process, the accountant or attorney helping you with the estate should be able to guide you through the application form.