When a decedent passes away, the executor or the estate administrator has several responsibilities related to managing the decedent’s estate and distributing the assets. One of those responsibilities is to complete an estate accounting. This involves keeping track of all money and other property going out of the estate and money and other property coming into the estate. This accounting is submitted it to the probate court judge for review. If you are the executor or plan administrator of an estate and would like more information about completing an estate accounting, contact an experienced Chicago estate accounting lawyer who will help ensure that you are fulfilling your responsibilities as required by Illinois law.Duties of the Executor
The executor’s main responsibilities include:
- Inventorying estate assets. One of the first jobs of the executor is to gather and inventory estate assets. The estate may include a variety of types of assets including bank accounts and other financial accounts, real estate, vehicles, jewelry, collectibles, clothing, furnishings, and other types of property. The executor must inventory all of the assets. This means the executor must a detailed list with the name and location of each asset and its value. It may be necessary for the executor to hire a professional appraiser in order to get an accurate valuation of some of the property in the estate.
- Paying creditors. Another important responsibility of the executor is to make sure that all estate debts are paid. Such debts may include bills that the decedent owed at the time he or she passed away. It also may include debt accrued by the estate related to managing the estate. Those expenses may include appraisal fees, attorney fees, fees paid to other fiduciaries, and fees paid to other people who provide services to the estate. The executor is also is responsible for settling any claims against the estate.
- Managing the estate. The executor is also responsible for managing the assets of the estate. This may mean selling assets, and as well as receiving other income to the estate such as rents and investment income.
- Distributing estate assets. One of the last and most important job of the executor is to distribute assets from the estate to the beneficiaries named in the will or in the absence of a will, to the decedent’s legal heirs. Part of the estate accounting is reporting exactly which asset was distributed to which beneficiary or heir.
As a Chicago estate accounting attorney will explain, many of the activities of the executor related to managing the estate involve assets coming into the estate or assets leave in the estate. The executor must keep accurate and detailed records of each of the transactions.Estate Accounting
Illinois law requires that the executor keep detailed records of each transaction. This would include receipts, contracts, and other documentation to support the value of any type of property that left the estate and the value of any type of property that came into the estate.Objecting to a Probate Accounting
Interested parties such as beneficiaries and heirs have the legal right to file objections to an estate accounting. As an estate accounting attorney in Chicago will explain, some of the most common reasons for estate accounting objections include:
- Beneficiary or heir did not receive distribution
- Accounting irregularities
- Evidence of fraud
- Failure to submit accounting
- Violation of fiduciary duty
If you are an executor or an estate administrator and have questions related to an estate accounting, or if you are a beneficiary or heir with an interest in an estate and have objections to an estate accounting, it is important that you are represented by an estate accounting attorney serving Chicago who has experience with estate accounting matters. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have the resources to protect your interests in your estate matter. We have years of experience successfully representing beneficiaries, executors, heirs, and fiduciaries in will contests and other types of estate litigation. We are here to help. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.