Should I ask the executor/guardian/trustee/power of attorney for an accounting?
An accounting should provide complete disclosure of a fiduciary's actions pertaining to a trust/estate/guardianship/agency relationship. Each beneficiary has a right to review the transactions undertaken by the fiduciary. What can you do when you have been kept in the dark about the transactions?
1. Review the InstrumentDoes the Will / Trust / Order appointing Guardian / Power of Attorney mandate an accounting? If so, does the document specify whether the fiduciary is required to account? If so, how often is the fiduciary required to account? If the document does not require an accounting, in certain instances an accounting may, nonetheless be compelled.
2. Waiver of AccountingDid you tell your fiduciary that you do not want an accounting? Did you sign any papers that waive your right to receive an accounting? Even if you did, you have the right to change your mind and ask for an accounting.
3. Communicate with your fiduciaryIs there a reason that the fiduciary has not prepared an accounting? Have you tried to ask for bank statements or any form of document showing the assets and expenditures but been met with a wall of silence? Have you made yourself accessible to discuss the transactions?
4. Ensure you are able to seek an accounting.In New York, you can seek an accounting if you are: a creditor, a person interested in the estate, the public administrator, acting on behalf of an infant or child born after the document; a fiduciary of a deceased person interested; a surety on the bond; a successor fiduciary, a co-fiduciary, or the attorney general where any part of the estate may escheat to the state.