Do I, as one of the beneficiaries of my mother’s estate, have the right to a copy of the final settlement statement for the estate?

I have requested a copy of the final estate statement from the attorney and she

is not returning my calls or emails. Before I go one step further to the

Disciplinary Board of the State Attorney’ office, I just want to know if as a

beneficiary, should I have a right to a copy of this?

Asked on November 20, 2018 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You are not generally entitled to the final estate statement: a beneficiary has no interest in or authority over the estate as a whole, but is only entitled to know what he she is getting. That said, if you have reason to believe that the attorney did not follow any will, or mismanaged the estate, or diverted estate assets to herself or a friend, family member, etc., you could bring a legal action traditionally called an action for "an accounting" to make the attorney "account" for her management of the estate. If she did something wrong, the court has the authority to take corrective action. This is a much more procedurally complex legal action than, say, a small claims case, and you are strongly advised to consult with an attorney (one who would represent you specifically, not the estate) if you want to explore this option.


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