My brother-in law was handling the estate and we feel that there are assets in that estate that should have been divided equally among the three children. How can my wife get an accounting so that she can get her fair share
Estate Planning Attorney
You will need to request an accounting and then hire an attorney who practices in the probate area to force your brother in law to deliver one.
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Estate Planning Attorney
If this is a Florida estate, Florida law dictates who will receive your mother-in-law's estate. If there are just children (no spouse) the estate would pass among the children equally.
If there is an estate open, the attorney for the estate should be able to provide you with information, including timing of any inventory (required within 60 days) and an accounting (required prior to the termination of the estate).
On the other hand, the intestacy statutes only control assets titled in her individual name. If her son was on the account as a joint owner or designated beneficiary, the intestacy rules do not apply. In this situation, litigation may be required if his mother's intent was to pass the assets among all of her heirs. Consult with a probate litigation attorney in this event.
The personal representative of an estate is vested with the responsibility of properly conducting the administration of the estate. Accordingly, the fiduciary must be prepared to report activity concerning estate property to the beneficiaries in the form of an accounting. Nevertheless, under Fla.Prob.R. 5.345, interim or periodic accountings are optional, unless required by the court. Only an initial inventory and a final accounting are required by F.S. 733.604, Rule 5.340 (inventory), and Rule 5.400 (accounting).
My recommendation is to hire counsel to monitor the administration of the estate and help ensure that the administration is proceeding in a timely and organized fashion. If you cannot find a local attorney, any attorney in Florida who handles probate matters can most likely handle this sort of matter for you.