Accounting Disputes – Estate & Trust Disputes
Beneficiaries of estates and trusts often question whether they are getting complete disclosure regarding the estate/trust’s assets. If you are such a beneficiary, and believe that information is being withheld by the fiduciary, you may be able to bring a lawsuit to obtain this information.
The Florida Probate Code provides:
Beneficiaries of estates are required to receive an inventory of the estate’s assets and ultimately an accounting of the estate administration.
Within the first 60 days of the personal representative’s appointment, a personal representative is required to file the estate’s inventory, setting out the assets of the estate with “reasonable detail” and including each item’s estimated fair market value as of the decedent’s death. See Fla. Stat. §733.604, Fla. Prob. R. 5.340.
A personal representative is required to provide an accounting of all transactions of the estate during its administration (unless the beneficiaries sign a written waiver of this requirement, see Fla. Prob. R. 5.180).
The Florida Trust Code requires trustees to perform annual accountings of the trust, setting out all assets and liabilities of the trust. A beneficiary has a complete copy of the trust as well as relevant information regarding the assets and liabilities of a trust and the particulars relating the trust administration. See Fla. Stat. §736.0813.
Daniel A. Seigel has successfully prosecuted and defended numerous cases challenging the accountings (or lack thereof) provided by personal representatives and trustees.