Accounting’s in Estates

A calculator and document

The executor in a will or the administrator, in an intestate proceeding, has to fiduciary responsibilities. These responsibilities involve fairly and accurately handling all financial matters regarding the estate. In situations where a beneficiary of the estate has questions concerning the accumulation of assets and the distribution of the assets of the estate, they can bring an accounting proceeding.

Documentation in Accounting Proceedings

When an accounting proceeding is brought the executor must provide a detailed breakdown of all assets received by the estate. In addition, the executor and/or administrator must provide documentation of all income received by the estate. This can include a return on an investment and or losses on investments. In addition all estate expenses and distributions to beneficiaries and or creditors must be documented. In situations where the accounting does not list all of the assets and/or income, expenses, profits and losses, a detailed investigation during the course of this accounting proceeding can be undertaken to look into these issues. In the event where there is mismanagement, improper dealings, failure to act properly and or the estate has losses, the executor and or administrator can be held liable to reimburse the estate with regard to these items.

Fiduciary Responsibilities in Estates

The executor in a will or the administrator of an intestate estate is held to an extremely high standard of conduct. He or she is a fiduciary and fiduciaries must properly handle the estate. In certain situations a lawsuit can be undertaken with regard to fiduciaries mismanagement or mishandling of the estate. These situations involve:

  • The improper handling of estate property;
  • Improper transfer of assets to the fiduciary (self dealing);
  • Failure to the keep beneficiaries informed with regard to the handling of the estate;
  • Failure to follow the terms of the will or intestate distribution scheme.

NY Wills & Trusts Lawyer Elliot Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel and his associates represent clients throughout the metropolitan New York area in all aspects of estate litigation.