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?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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