Sometimes, the person administering a trust or estate is not capable of handling the task. If beneficiaries suspect a trustee of theft or mismanagement, they can request that the trustee provide a detailed list of all dealings with the estate. Called an accounting proceeding, this acts as an audit for a trust or estate administrator’s actions and can ultimately lead to legal action against the trustee.
Information That Must Be Included in an Accounting Proceeding
Trustees and estate administrators have a fiduciary duty to the deceased and the beneficiaries to the estate. If a fiduciary has withheld information, engaged in unethical or illegal behavior, or otherwise mismanaged the estate, they can be held personally liable for repayment of misappropriated funds.
The fiduciary must provide specific information in an accounting proceeding, such as:
- A complete list of the deceased’s assets that came to be in the fiduciary’s control (both before and after death)
- An accurate account of any income that has come into the estate
- Details regarding any known creditor’s claims (paid or unpaid)
- A detailed list of expenditures, including distributions that have been made to beneficiaries and administrative expenses
- A schedule for the distribution of assets to the estate beneficiaries
- A schedule showing how the remaining assets will be spent on additional administrative expenses
In many cases, it can be difficult to tell if an estate is being mismanaged even after the estate accounting packet is prepared. A report from a large estate may contain information about hundreds of different financial transactions, each one of which must be carefully scrutinized. Our experienced New York estate litigation lawyers can help you determine whether there is a valid cause to object to an executor or administrator.
At Landskind & Ricaforte Law Group, it is our goal to give you peace of mind at every step of the legal process. If you have been waiting a long time after a loved one’s death and have still not received your inheritance, we can help you take action. Contact us today through our online form to learn how we can help.