Written by attorney Sharon M. Siegel

How Do I Get An Accounting of the Executor of the Estate

Unlike many other states, New York has no formal requirements for an executor to file a detailed accounting of his/her actions as executor. The only requirement is that the executor file an inventory form, which is not detailed. You can't object to an inventory. So, what do you do if you are a beneficiary and you can't find out where the decedent's assets went or how large was the estate and other related details? If you were in this situation, you would file a Petition to Compel an Accounting by the Executor. If you are next of kin (distributee) or a beneficiary, the court will grant this almost as of right. The standard result is that the court will issue an order directing the executor to account within 30 days, or any other amount the lawyers agree upon. After the Executor files the accounting, you will have an opportunity to file objections. This is the time when the Executor will declare the principal received, income, distributions, expenses, amount on hand and the like. Many issues get resolved at the accounting stage. If you file objections, the matter will be set down for a conference at the Surrogate's Court. The lawyers are often times able to resolve issues at this type of a conference.

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