Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Am I entitled to ask the executor for more detailed financials?
Posted by Lynne Butler
"I an wondering if I can request an executor to show me the Financials up to date. In what format should he dhow them or can he come up with a figure and a list of items not sold. I would like to see a list of sold items with the price he got, invoices and receipts for pay outs and work others have done. What am I entitled to see?"
The first question for me is whether or not you are a person who is entitled to see anything at all. If you are a residuary beneficiary of the estate, you are entitled to request financials, and the next part of my answer will go into more detail about that. If you are not a residuary beneficiary, you are not entitled to see anything.
Assuming you are in fact a residuary beneficiary, you are entitled to see a full accounting. There is no one format that applies everywhere, though there are certain elements that must be contained in an accounting no matter what format is used. The minimum of what you are entitled to receive is:
- an inventory showing what was in the estate when the deceased died
- a list of expenses, bills, etc that have been paid from the estate (including any amounts paid to beneficiaries and any amounts taken by the executor as fees)
- a list of all money coming into the estate, which is usually from the sale of assets (house, vehicle), cashing in of accounts and investments, and various small sums (CPP death benefit, refunds of subscriptions, cash lying around the house)
An executor doesn't usually produce copies of all invoices and receipts automatically, mostly to save time and money. However, you are fully within your rights as a residuary beneficiary to request copies of them. You can ask for any details that help you determine the current position of the estate, or to help you determine whether the estate is being handled properly. You can make this kind of request at any time during the administration of the estate.
Many executors seem to get upset when they are asked for details. I think they feel as if someone is questioning their honesty. But you are well within your rights to request details even if you have no reason to fear dishonesty on the part of the executor. The transactions on the estate determine what you are going to inherit so it's in your best interest to keep an eye on it.