Yes, residuary beneficiaries are the only individuals apart from the executors who can check the final estate accounts. However, there are some exceptions to be followed for this rule, which you will learn below.
Dealing With The Estate Of An Deceased Individual
If any person dies leaving a Will, it will consist of the name of one or more executors. In most cases, when the deceased person makes the Will with the help of a will and trust attorney, they leave the title of executors to them. However, the names of executors can be anyone the person wants, making them responsible to wind up the deceased person’s affairs and distributing the estate according to the Will.
If there’s no Will, then according to the inheritance laws, known as the Rules of Intestacy will decide who is responsible and more capable of carrying out the role of personal representative. They will have to administer the Estate under the inheritance laws to set out who is entitled to get the deceased person’s estate. They also become responsible for making the Estate accounts.
- What Are Estate Accounts Exactly?
Estate accounts ensure to show the assets and liabilities of an estate. It also shows the amount of overall fees and administration expenditures, income procured at the time of estate administration, and the distribution of the balance of the Estate according to the will estate planning.
- Who Is Entitled To Check The Final Estate Accounts?
The only people who are entitled to check the final estate accounts are the residuary beneficiaries of the Estate. Apart from checking, they also receive a copy of the estate accounts. They get entitled to a share of what’s remaining in the Estate after all the expenses. These expenses may include debts, gifts, and taxes, which are given out and settled once and for all.
- Types of Gifts
There are several types of gifts that can be left within the will. For instance, a Pecuniary Legacy may be left for the beneficiary for some specific sum of money. If any person is left with a Pecuniary Legacy worth $1000, then once they receive the $1000, they cannot exercise any further rights on the Estate. You must know that a pecuniary beneficiary is not entitled to check the final estate accounts.
- Additional Pointers
However, if any individual is yet to receive any remaining share of the estate after the payment of all the expenses and Pecuniary Legacies, they can be none other than the residuary beneficiary. They will be entitled to see the final estate accounts as the way in which the Estate gets administered a direct impact on the inheritance received by them.
- Who Can Be Termed As The Residuary Beneficiaries?
These are the people who get the residual or remaining ‘balance’ of the Estate. These are the people entitled to receive a sum of money left after the deceased person’s funeral expenses, taxes, debts, administration costs, and other paid gifts. If an individual is a residuary beneficiary, they get entitled to check and receive the final accounts of the Estate assets, and it’s order of distribution to check how their shares have been calculated.
Estate Accounts: Who Else Can Check It Out?
Some people have the right to check the final Estate accounts, like:
- An entitled beneficiary for receiving the estate legacy but cannot get paid entirely.
- Beneficiaries and creditors who cannot get paid in full for their liability or interest due to the insolvency of the Estate.
- Guardians or parents of the minor beneficiaries or children with special needs.
What Should An Estate Account Contain?
Estate accounts must consist of the entire record of all financial transactions that have been executed at the time of the Estate administration. It should contain these records from the date of death to its conclusion. The normal Estate account doesn’t need to be shared with those who are entitled until the Final Estate account arrives.
There is no certain rules or guidelines as to the format of the Estate accounts, but they usually consist of:
- Balance sheet, capital statement, income statement
- Summary of the terms stated on the Will or Rules of Intestacy
- Distribution statement
- Securities or investments schedule
In many cases, it can be seen that the residuary beneficiary doesn’t receive a copy of the Estate accounts. If you don’t receive your copy of estate accounts as a residuary beneficiary even upon making a request after finalization, you can apply to the Probate Registry for an inventory and account order.
If the executor has not provided the residuary beneficiary with the right to check and have a copy of estate accounts after the estate administration, they can contact a legal aid attorney. It will help them in applying for probate registry for inventory and account order. Not only that, an attorney will help you with all legal formalities to let you enjoy the usual life while they carry out complex paperwork operations.