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Bryn Mawr Pa Model Estate Accountings Lawyers – Intro
As I have explained in Bryn Mawr Pa Beneficiary Lawyers, I have represented thousands of beneficiaries during my decades as a Pennsylvania Estate Attorney.
I can provide the necessary advice to protect your rights in nearly any Pa Estate, Pa Trust, and/or Pa Power of Attorney planning matter.
If you suspect that a Pa Will, a Pa Trust, and/or a Pa Power of Attorney does not reflect the wishes of the deceased, you have a right to challenge the proceedings in court.
Bryn Mawr Pa Model Estate Accountings Lawyers – Review
There are many factors that can affect the distribution of estate assets. In some cases, there may be a Pa Will that identifies you as a beneficiary; in other cases, there may not be a Pa Will at all. In still other cases, there may be a dispute involving the administration of the estate. For example, a beneficiary may disagree with how the executor or personal representative is distributing assets.
Pennsylvania estate administration can be a complex and lengthy process with many bumps in the road. If you suspect your rights as a beneficiary are being challenged, you should seek the advice of an experienced Pennsylvania estate planning attorney immediately.
Bryn Mawr Pa Model Estate Accountings Lawyers – Types
Every beneficiary and every fiduciary should understand Compelling Accountings and Defending Accountings. A court can require a fiduciary to provide a detailed report of the assets managed and justification for expenses incurred. This report is called an “Accounting”.
There are two forms of Accountings:
- Informal Accountings and
- Formal Accountings.
Bryn Mawr Pa Model Estate Accountings Lawyers – Informal Accountings
The fiduciary creates and submits an Informal Accounting only to the interested parties without court oversight. An Informal Accounting’s complexity will depend on what information the interested parties require. Some beneficiaries only want copies of bank statements while others require detailed breakdowns and reports.
Bryn Mawr Pa Model Estate Accountings Lawyers – Formal Accountings
The fiduciary submits a Formal Accounting to the court, as well as to all interested parties. The fiduciary files Formal Accountings in specific, detailed formats. It takes a great deal of time to learn these formats. To save time, judges want all Accounting in the same format. A Formal Account will require a filing fee and at least one court appearance.
Bryn Mawr Pa Model Estate Accountings Lawyers – Format
You are not allowed to use Excel Spreadsheets, Quicken, Quickbooks, or other similar financial programs. The only acceptable format is a Model Court Account.
Bryn Mawr Pa Model Estate Accountings Lawyers – When To Compel
An interested party does not need a specific reason to compel a Formal Accounting. Obtaining a Formal Accounting is a right. But, Formal Accountings are expensive so shouldn’t be sought lightly.
Common reasons to seek a Formal Accounting include: if you believe the Pa Executor, Pa Agent or a Pa Trustee has committed Theft, Misappropriation of Property, Co-Mingled Assets or has Abused Power.
Suspicion that these acts took place is not enough, you must provide the judge evidence.
If an interested party believes that an Executor, Agent or Trustee has stolen property, misappropriated property, co-mingled assets or abused power, it is wise to hire a Pennsylvania Probate Estates Attorney to force the Pennsylvania fiduciary to file a Model Formal Account. In this process, the Estate Litigation Lawyer can obtain an order allowing discovery. This allows the lawyer to depose the fiduciary, subpoena evidence, obtain records and interview witnesses.
If the fiduciary will rectify the harm, the judge will hold a hearing where the Pennsylvania Probate Estates Attorney will present the evidence gathered. If after hearing all the evidence the judge finds the fiduciary was wrong, the judge can order the asset returned and surcharge the fiduciary for expenses and order the fiduciary’s removal.
Bryn Mawr Pa Model Estate Accountings Lawyers – Conclusion
There are many situations where an Accounting should be compelled. I will review those times and situations in further posts.