Does an Executor Have to Show Accounting to Beneficiaries?

Does an Executor Have to Show Accounting to Beneficiaries – Overview

Working as an executor comes with huge responsibilities. An executor must be able to keep all the records and administer the entire estate to present the beneficiaries and the probate court. It is important that an executor can fulfill all their fiduciary duties and abide by the law.

What is an Executor

According to state law, when an individual dies, their property and all the assets must go through a probate. This procedure can be intestate or testate.

The testate procedure means the deceased person has a will that can be executed. The decedent can mention an executor in the will. The primary role of an executor is to administer the estate and distribute it among all the beneficiaries as per the will.

When the decedent of the will appoints someone as an executor, the process can move forward only if that person is willing to serve. Once everything is sorted, the court can issue a letter of testamentary and give them the authority to serve their duties.

However, the intestate succession law will apply if there is no will. The court can appoint someone as an executor to distribute the assets and the properties among the family members. The distribution will take place according to priority.

Does an Executor Have to Show Accountancy to Beneficiaries

State law generally requires executors to provide an accounting of the estate to beneficiaries. The level of detail required can vary by state, but executors typically need to be prepared to provide detailed accountings upon request, regardless of the beneficiaries’ initial level of interest. This will help reduce complications and eliminate the chances of disputes.

Does an Executor Have to Show Accounting to Beneficiaries

What Does an Executor Need to Show to Beneficiaries?

What Does an Executor Need to Show to Beneficiaries

An executor is supposed to look after the deceased’s entire estate. On the other hand, the beneficiaries have the right to have regular updates and enough information about the properties and assets.

However, the executor does not have to share every update and decision with the beneficiaries if they are not asking for it.

An executor should provide estate accounting with extremely detailed documents based on the estate’s complexity and size. Before finalizing the probate, the executor should offer a final accounting, including –

  • The itemized list of all the assets of the estate
  • The initial inventory of the properties and assets of the deceased person
  • The total value of the entire estate during the time of death
  • If the value of the assets changes over time
  • About the assets that have entered and left the estate over time
  • All the funds and properties that the estate has received during the administration
  • Al expenses, including funeral expenses, payment of the executor, debts, federal taxes, liabilities, and other costs, paid by the estate
  • All the distributions that are planned or already made to the beneficiaries

Executors must keep beneficiaries informed about the estate’s administration and provide a detailed accounting when a beneficiary requests. This includes information on assets, debts, distributions, and estate expenses.

The beneficiaries have the right to inquire about and review the accounting and ask for more information at any time. If the beneficiary asks, the executor may need to offer supporting documents.

The supporting documents include the following-

  • Tax returns
  • All the receipts
  • Copies of the checks
  • Account statements
  • Closing statements

The supporting statements or documentation can be long or small, depending on the estate’s complexity or amount.

Responsibilities of the Probate and Executor

Serving as an executor is not easy. An executor administers the entire estate on behalf of the beneficiaries.

As an executor, you must maintain all the records and show them to the beneficiaries or the probate court when required. The executor’s role includes everything from obtaining the testator’s death certificate to meeting all the funeral expenses from the estate.

An executor should be able to interpret the will properly and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries correctly. Until the estate is disposed of, the executor needs to manage and maintain all the property’s expenses.

The executor must take care of the settlements by following the will’s direction. They must make all the pending payments and collect the estate’s due money.

All the transactions should be documented to avoid any future complications. These expenses can affect the portion that a beneficiary receives from the estate.

Therefore, they have the legal right to see and understand all transactions, including debts, pending payments, and other expenses.

What Are the Primary Rights of a Beneficiary

  • A beneficiary must have an executor to act in their best interest
  • They must receive their rightful portion from the estate
  • Beneficiaries have the right to know the details about the estate
  • They can request to receive all the information about the estate from their executor
  • Beneficiaries can also submit a petition to the court requesting a new executor with reasonable justifications

What Can a Beneficiary Do If the Executor Refuses to Show the Accounting

When an executor refuses to show accountings even after receiving the beneficiary’s request, the beneficiary can petition the court.

In many jurisdictions, executors are required to provide periodic accountings to beneficiaries and the court, detailing the financial transactions and status of the estate. The specifics can vary by state law. However, the executor must provide the information at the beneficiary’s request.

An accounting report must contain the following information –

  • A list of the assets and the properties in the estate
  • The values of all the assets and properties
  • The fund details that have been given to the beneficiaries
  • Details about the funds that have not yet been distributed to the beneficiaries
  • All expenses and the incomes of the entire estate

There is some additional information that the beneficiaries can request to see, including tax returns, closing statements, bank statements, and other financial documents.

If the executor refuses to show any of this information, the beneficiaries can always file a formal accounting request with the court. Beneficiaries can also petition the court for a new executor with reasonable justifications. The cooperation of the beneficiaries and the executor is essential for a smooth and uncomplicated transaction.


A beneficiary has the right to know the details about the estate. The executor is legally bound to provide accounting details if the beneficiaries request to receive the information. However, the beneficiaries can always petition the court to receive formal accounting details if an executor refuses to share the details.

See Also

Who Has More Rights Trustee or the Beneficiary

How Long After a Person Dies Will Beneficiaries Be Notified

How Does Life Insurance Work

Who Pays Off the Medical Debt After Death

Long Term Disability Lawyer

Current Version
March 12, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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