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What is the final accounting of an estate?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Estate Administration |

Getting to the end of probate will likely be a great relief for you as an estate executor. One of the final steps of administering an estate is creating the final accounting for the estate. Securing approval of this accounting can open the way to close out probate.

Any executor should understand the basics about final estate accounting so there are no unnecessary delays in completing probate.

What should a final accounting contain?

The final accounting of an estate depends on the specific property owned by the estate. In general, the accounting should present a complete picture of the financial status of the estate.

First, the accounting should describe the assets of the estate and their values. From there, the account must describe any estate payments of outstanding debts the decedent still owed and any sales of estate property. Also, if the estate also paid any taxes or any other expenses, the accounting should include them.

Will the accounting receive automatic approval?

The accounting may seem complete to you, but the heirs to the estate must still examine it themselves. Hopefully, they will decide that everything is in order and approve it. However, they could have problems with parts of it and contest the findings. Ideally, the disagreement will find swift resolution, but a beneficiary dispute might also drag out probate and lead to court action.

When is final approval?

Assuming no parties find fault with the accounting, the court is likely to accept it. You can then move on to the final actions needed to close out the estate, including the distribution of the estate assets to the beneficiaries. If there are no other outstanding debts, you may file a motion with the probate court to close the estate.

Estate administration can be a tough task to pull off, but figuring out key steps in advance might save you from stressful delays and bring closure that much quicker.