Is it reasonable for beneficiaries to request a full accounting of an estate after 18 months?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it reasonable for beneficiaries to request a full accounting of an estate after 18 months?

My brother is the executor but I have received very little information about what has happened to the estate since the time it was created. I am worried it’s not being managed diligently and the advisers are not being managed efficiently. Advisers have not been forthcoming with information and told me

the info is

Asked on January 29, 2018 under Estate Planning, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Given the length of time and the lack of responsiveness, it would be reasonable to ask for an accounting. And if the executor will not provide one voluntarily, you can file a legal action (lawsuit) to require an accounting. Fiduciaries (like executors, such as your brother) have a fiduciary duty (duty of both loyalty and to use reasonable care) to the  beneficiaries (persons who should receive assets, money, or property--like you); when a beneficiary believes that a fiduciary is violating that duty, either by disloyalty or lack of care, he or she can bring a lawsuit in which he or she asks the court to make the fiduciary account for his/her actions. If the fiduciary has acted improperly, illegally, or negligently, the court has the power to order that certain things be done or even to remove the fiduciary and appoint someone else to the role. This kind of lawsuit is, however, much more complex than, say, a small claims case; you are strongly advised to retain a probate attorney to help you.

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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