In this article, we’re answering “does an executor have to show accounting to beneficiaries?”
The short answer is yes, but there are nuances. In this article, we’ll share everything beneficiaries and executors should be aware of while also answering some of the most common questions on the topic.
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Please note: Different jurisdictions impose different rules on the responsibilities carried out by an executor. So, it’s important to find the specific laws that pertain to your estate to fully understand the relevant requirements.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- Does an Executor Have to Show Accounting to Beneficiaries?
- What Are the Duties of an Executor?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ready to Explore Your Options?
Does an Executor Have to Show Accounting to Beneficiaries?
Yes, an executor does have to show accounting to beneficiaries. In most cases, this is done after all liabilities, expenses, and taxes have been settled and includes a list of all assets to be distributed, this is known as a final Estate Account. In most jurisdictions, delivery of an Estate Account can be enforced by law.
That said, it is possible for the beneficiaries to waive the delivery of accounting. Though, regardless of the beneficiaries’ decision, it’s important for executors to maintain clear and transparent financial accounting to avoid personal liability in the future.
What Are the Duties of an Executor of a Will to the Beneficiaries?
The duties of an executor of a will to the beneficiaries include settling liabilities and obligations, distributing of assets, and finalizing accounts. As mentioned, prior to distribution, an executor will provide the main beneficiaries with a final Estate Account.
A final Estate Account refers to the final document that summarizes all of the assets, liabilities, taxes, expenses, and assets to be distributed to the beneficiaries in the process of settling the account. However, it als
Duties of an Executor of a Will to the Beneficiaries:
- Pay all outstanding debts
- Make tax payments on behalf of the estate
- Pay other administrative expenses related to the estate
- Identify and communicate with the beneficiaries
- Protect the assets during their tenure as executor
- Distribute assets to the beneficiaries
- Prepare and deliver a final Estate Account
Can an Executor Also Be a Beneficiary?
Yes, an executor can also be a beneficiary. In fact, it is very common for an executor to also be a beneficiary since the person choosing the executor often wants someone they can trust and that will carry out the best wishes of all the beneficiaries.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Below are three of the most common questions that we receive from people wondering if an executor has to show accounting to beneficiaries. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Can a Beneficiary Ask to See Bank Statements?
Yes, a beneficiary can ask to see bank statements. But, the executor does not have to honor this request. In other words, it is in the sole discretion of the executor whether they will share bank statements with the beneficiaries. That said, the executor does have to provide a final Estate Account once the liabilities are settled and assets are ready to be distributed.
Do Beneficiaries need to Approve Estate Accounts?
No, beneficiaries do not need to approve estate accounts during the process of the executor settling the estate. Once the liabilities have been settled and the assets are ready to be distributed, the executor will provide the beneficiaries with a final Estate Account. This includes all of the assets, liabilities, expenses, transactions, and assets pending distribution.
What Is an Informal Accounting of an Estate?
Informal accounting of an estate refers to providing the beneficiaries with a final accounting. This includes a summary of the assets, liabilities, expenses, taxes, and pending distributions. In other words, it is an informal accounting of all the financial transactions that took place for an estate.
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