An heir, beneficiary or interested party to a Florida estate can make a written request to the personal representative of the estate asking the personal representative to provide a copy of estate accountings during a probate proceeding to make sure the personal representative is doing his or her job properly.
If a personal representative refuses to provide a copy of the accounting to a beneficiary, a beneficiary can hire an attorney and proceed to challenge an estate accounting. A Florida probate and estate attorney can review the accounting to determine whether there is anything out of the ordinary that a claimant may legally challenge in Court.
Accounting and Fiduciary Challenges
The Probate Court has the jurisdiction to resolve an estate accounting or fiduciary challenge. Since accounting challenges can be complex, they usually require the assistance of a Florida probate and estate attorney. Experts such as an accountant, CPA or appraiser may testify at the hearing. If there is sufficient evidence to determine that there has been an accounting error resulting in financial losses to the estate or beneficiaries and/or the personal representative has breached other fiduciary duties, the person making the claim can also ask the Court to remove the fiduciary and appoint a new personal representative. In addition, since a fiduciary is personally liable to reimburse the estate or beneficiaries for financial losses resulting from the bad judgment or breach of fiduciary duty of an personal representative, the claimant can also request that the Court allow the claimant to recover their financial losses.
Case in point: A personal representative sold the art collection of the deceased and deposited the funds into his own bank account.
Case in point 2: Beneficiaries accused personal representative of hiding estate assets. After a thorough review, it was found that all assets were listed in the accounting.
Since accounting and fiduciary challenges can be very complex matters, it is recommended that you consult with a Florida probate and estate litigation attorney to represent you. An attorney will be able to help resolve the matter and assist you with recovering financial losses. We represent personal representatives and beneficiaries fighting an accounting challenge.
If you wish to speak to a Florida estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin today.