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You'll file a joint return for your parents for 2001. In 2002, your mom will file a single return.

Depending on what happens under the terms of the trust on your dad's death, the trust might have to file it's own return (on form 1041) and get it's own tax ID number. And it may have to file a return for 2001. You might also need (or want) to file an estate tax return for your father's estate. Some part of the revocable trust will be included in his estate.

This is the point where you need to get in touch with the attorney that prepared the trust (or another attorney who does estate planning), and an accountant familiar with trust returns. (My guess is that far less than half of the tax preparers out there really know how to handle a trust return.) Living trusts are not a do-it-yourself proposition, and must be handled correctly to get the tax and probate benefits for which they were intended.

My condolences on your father's passing.

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