Do I need a lawyer to get information on the accounting of an estate from the executor?

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Do I need a lawyer to get information on the accounting of an estate from the executor?

I would like to know if I can ask to see documents where my inheritance is paying off bills owed to creditors? I would like a legal letter from a lawyer asking this question of the executor.

Asked on January 21, 2016 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You legally *may* ask. And if they refuse, you could even file a legal action (lawsuit) in chancery or probate court seeking an accounting on your own, without an attorney. But there's no doubt but that a lawyer would be much more effective at pursuing this than a layperson. The issue really is economic: unless the matter resolves with the first letter, assume it will cost you several thousand dollars if you hire an attorney. If only a few thousand dollars are at stake, it's probably not worth paying attorney's fees...but if several tens of thousands of dollars, or more, are possibly involved, then you should retain an attorney to help you.


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