Court Financial Accountings
Your executor or administrator is required by law to file court financial accountings including an Inventory and annual Accountings. An Inventory of the assets of the estate must be filed within four months after the executor or administrator is sworn in. The Inventory must include a list of all of your personal assets under your executor’s or administrator’s control, valued at the date of death fair market value, real estate over which your executor has a power of sale, and other real estate that is an asset of your estate, whether in Virginia or not.
Preparing an Inventory can be extremely confusing for an executor or administrator. Difficulties arise when determining whether or not you have control over an asset, or a power of sale over real estate, or whether your real estate is an asset of your estate for probate purposes. An experienced estate planning attorney can help answer your questions.
Executors or administrators are also required to file annual Accountings with the Commissioner of Accounts. Accountings are detailed financial reports showing how the executor or administrator is managing the assets of the estate. The accounting must list beginning assets, receipts, gains on asset sales, disbursement for debts and expenses, losses on asset sales, distributions to beneficiaries, and assets on hand. Documentation must include all original invoices of bills paid, paid promissory notes, banking and brokerage statements, cancelled checks or copy of front of check with a signed invoice or receipt, and receipts from beneficiaries for each asset distributed. The first accounting is due within sixteen months after the date of qualification and should cover a twelve month period. Second and subsequent accountings are due sixteen months after the ending date of the prior account and should cover a twelve month period.
The required record keeping and financial reporting in the required format can be overwhelming for an executor or administrator. An experienced estate planning and estate administration attorney can guide you through the process. Our law firm routinely prepares court financial accountings from start to finish. We also advise executors or administrators who prepare their own accountings but who need assistance with revising accountings in response to questions raised by the Commissioner of Accounts. We can help.