COVID-19 Notice: In order to best serve you while doing our part to maximize health and safety, we continue to be available for telephone and Zoom video conferences, and documents can be prepared, reviewed, signed, and exchanged electronically. Call 646-561-9099 for your legal needs!

PROVEN LEGAL COUNSEL

For Estate Planning, Estate Administration And Disputes

Accounting disputes: What you should know

| Dec 2, 2020 | Estate Litigation |

It is never easy to lose a close friend or loved one. While emotions may run high in these situations, there are still a number of estate matters that must be resolved. Whether the deceased left behind a last will and testament or left their property and assets in a trust, it is critical to make sure everything is handled properly. 

What happens when you find discrepancies in these documents or notice accounting errors that directly affect family and friends, according to Forbes. Accounting disputes can cause serious issues, whether they are an oversight or an intentional attempt to shift money. It is critical to know how to handle these problems to ensure everyone receives their rightful share. 

What are accounting disputes?

The executor of the estate or trustee is not only responsible for collecting all property and assets belonging to the estate, he or she must find the value of the estate. Any remaining debts owed by the estate are then paid from this value. 

During these transactions, it is important to keep clear and concise records, allowing beneficiaries and members of the trust to see details regarding the accounts. In some cases, the parties involved may have questions or concerns regarding how the money is accounted for. At any time, you may file an objection to the way the accounts are handled. You may then have access to evidence, bank records and other documents. 

What can go wrong?

There are several areas where you may find accounting errors, mistakes and negligence. Some of these issues may occur when the estate administrator engages in the following: 

  • Fails to account for all liabilities and assets of the estate 
  • Delegates critical responsibilities to a third-party, who may handle the accounts negligently 
  • Fails to communicate critical information to beneficiaries  
  • Fails to produce information or reports to beneficiaries upon request 
  • Bills excessive fees to the estate for tasks they perform 
  • Takes money or property from the accounts 

It is your right to ask questions to ensure you receive your fair share of the estate’s property and assets.